Key hires focus on revised plan for former Royal High

Kate Smith and Grant Mackenzie

The Royal High School Preservation Trust has made two key hires as it prepares for the next stage of developing the vacant Edinburgh building as a music centre.

Grant Mackenzie has joined as executive director and Kate Smith as development director and with enabling work now complete they will focus recently announced revised plans for the 19th century building.

Mr Mackenzie joins from the David Livingstone Trust where he managed the £9.1m redevelopment of the new David Livingstone Birthplace.

He has over 20 years experience in heritage, sat on the board of the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh and worked for a number of the UK’s top heritage organisations, including the British Museum and National Museum of Scotland. 

He said: “The iconic Thomas Hamilton building is rich in heritage and is a significant restoration project for Scotland.

“Over the past few months, it has been wonderful getting to know the building, the plans and our partners. It is an honor to be leading the development of what is set to become a world leading venue of culture and music, right in the heart of the historic city of Edinburgh.” 

Ms Smith joins as development director from Capital Theatres, where she worked on the restoration and redevelopment of the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh.

She said: “I have been following the development of the former Royal High School for some time and I am thrilled to be part of the team bringing the new National Centre for Music to fruition.

“This project has so much potential to be hugely significant for Edinburgh and Scotland and I look forward to playing my part in bringing the vision of the Royal High School Preservation Trust to life.” 

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