The Herald:

The Dunard Centre is set to be Edinburgh’s first purpose-built music and performance venue in over 100 years after City of Edinburgh Council approved the plans today.

Described as one of the boldest modern ventures in the city, with the support of Dunard Fund and Royal Bank of Scotland, the hall sits Dundas House off St Andrew Square.

The 1,000 capacity Dunard Centre “transforms a forgotten site into an exciting new destination for music lovers”.

As the cultural flagship for the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the Dunard Centre will “fill a recognised gap in the region’s cultural infrastructure" and provide a platform for local, national and international musicians.

Expert consultants Nagata Acoustics have been working with award-winning David Chipperfield Architects on the sleek auditorium design, which will welcome acclaimed UK and international musicians from the worlds of classical, traditional, jazz, pop, world and folk music.

Nagata’s previous high-profile projects include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Philharmonie de Paris and Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, all venues renowned for their rich and immersive sound.

The Herald:

Fergus Linehan, Festival director and chief executive of Edinburgh International Festival and co-chair of IMPACT Scotland, said: “By creating a modern hall with outstanding facilities and acoustics, we are closing the recognised gap in the region’s cultural infrastructure and helping to sustain Edinburgh’s position as a leading cultural city against national and international competition.”   

Gavin Reid, chief executive of Scottish Chamber Orchestra and co-chair of IMPACT Scotland, said: “Today’s approval is tremendous news for the city and turns the ambition for a world-class centre for music and performance, into a reality.

“The Dunard Centre will become the new home of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and will be transformational. A stunning auditorium offering the very best in modern acoustics and boasting state of the art digital broadcast facilities will allow us to dream big, expand our repertoire, collaborate with ever more composers and artists, present our work innovatively, courageously and flexibly all with a new-found sense of adventure and ambition, always seeking to reach more and more people.”

Sir David Chipperfield, principal, David Chipperfield Architects, said: “Throughout the process of developing the design of the Dunard Centre we have embraced both the qualities and the challenges of working with such an extraordinary site. Embedded in the dense area of the Registry Lanes and also on the grand civic axis with Dundas House, the project marks the pivoting point between the New Town and St. James Quarter. Our ambition is to create a building of distinction that is respectful of its complex context while establishing a significant new cultural destination and place in this wonderful city.”

The Trustees of the Dunard Fund said: "Dunard Fund's Trustees are delighted to be major funders of this once-in-a-lifetime development of a world-class venue for rehearsal and performance of music, dance, theatre and lectures of all genres in the very heart of Edinburgh, thus cementing Scotland's reputation on the international stage."

Roddy Woomble, lead vocalist with Idlewild, said: “It's always exciting to hear about a new arts and music venue opening in Edinburgh. Since I've known the city, many great venues have come and gone, but the Dunard Centre sounds like it will be here to stay - an ambitious, creative space that will encourage and showcase local talent, alongside national and international performers. New music is always going somewhere in Edinburgh and the Dunard centre will see that it gets there.”

Composer Errollyn Wallen said: "As the country's artistic reach goes from strength to strength, a new concert hall for Edinburgh is a concert hall for the world’s stage.”

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