Inverleith House in Edinburgh, whose closure as an art gallery last year caused uproar in the arts world, should continue with a "rich and engaging programme" a major new report has found.

The building at the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh (RGBE), should be a "core platform" for art at the gardens, the report by a high-profile Art Working Group has found, in a report which also suggests a series of ideas for its future, including at least four seasonal shows, touring exhibitions, new commissions, fresh sponsorship deals and artist residencies.

The report says it should measure itself to two other high-profile institutions: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, which has two galleries with two themed exhibitions a year and seven dedicated staff, and the New York Botanical Garden, which has a wide ranging arts programme.

Herald View: How capital arts venue can continue to flower

The report also appears to reject the financial reasons given for the gallery's closure.

Last year the RGBE decided to close the gallery as a permanent space for art shows after 30 years, leading to outrage in the arts world and petition calling for the decision to be reversed signed by more than 10,000 people.

Earlier this year a working group was appointed, led by Professor Christopher Breward, principal of the Edinburgh College of Art, and including Janet Archer, chief executive of Creative Scotland, and Sir John Leighton, director general of the National Galleries of Scotland, among others, to look into the future of arts at the gardens.

Their report says that an art programme can be developed across all the sites of the Botanic Gardens, and suggests financial pressures should not be a reason to reduce its arts shows.

Herald View: How capital arts venue can continue to flower

However the report says: "There is also untapped potential for sponsorship from private companies and for patronage from individuals with an interest in supporting high-quality public art or being associated with a distinctive programme that has clear environmental credentials. "This will require a compelling vision driven by a strong ambition to deliver artistic excellence, excitement and inspiration."

It adds: "There will always be challenges in securing funding for the arts but the Arts Working Group believes that the RBGE is in a position of strength compared to many other organisations...

"The success of future fundraising efforts will be predicated on the strength, rigour, creativity and distinctiveness of the RBGE vision and programme plans....[and] the corporate pride, interest and value invested in the programme."

Herald View: How capital arts venue can continue to flower

The report says there should be an Arts Advisor Committee should be set up, and the gardens should "establish a clear and compelling vision for an integrated programme of arts, creative and cultural engagement across the RBGE".

Ideas it suggests is an exhibition programme to follow the seasons, each with a specific brief - Spring could showcase emerging artists, Summer would have a formal exhibition as part of the Edinburgh Art Festival, Autumn would have an "an uplifting project based on 'joy' when the nights are drawing in" while Winter could focus on research, investigation, and curiosity.

It suggests setting up an ‘Artist’s House’, to invite a leading artists to curate a "living artistic environment in Inverleith House".

It also suggests artist residencies, short ‘garden residencies’ where a living artist has sustained contact with one of the regional gardens, contemporary art commissions, and collaborations between young artists and botanical scientists.

In a statement, the trustees and Regius Keeper of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE) said: "The recommendations will undoubtedly help RBGE to build on its recognised artistic legacy and develop a more sustainable and integrated arts, creative and cultural programme across the four Gardens, including Inverleith House."

They added: "Now we need to prioritise our tasks, which include establishing an Arts Advisory Committee, seeking partnerships and financial investment and developing an arts programme that integrates existing and new artistic events and exhibitions with our core work."