Scottish Opera has revealed new plans to transform Glasgow's Speirs Wharf area with proposals for a mixed-use development that would include student and commercial use premises.

Designs show the intention to bring together five different premises under one roof, flanking the national opera company's production studios at Erdington Street.

A public consultation launched by the performing arts company suggests relocating its head office from Charing Cross to a new HQ with an education and outreach hub that would have adaptable performance spaces that double as a recording studio.

A statement from Scottish Opera says the development would "secure" the company's presence in Glasgow for the next 60 years at least.

It says: “We wish to advance our ambition to remain in, and reaffirm our commitment to, Glasgow. This proposed development would help to secure Scottish Opera’s presence within Glasgow for the next 60-plus years by rationalising and consolidating three of our current scattered five premises under one roof to demonstrate measurable economic, business, and artistic advantage.

“Our current premises include our rented HQ in the ageing Victorian building at 39 Elmbank Crescent, Charing Cross, Glasgow, and a large orchestra rehearsal space out at Hillington Park, Renfrewshire on a short-term lease.

“Edington Street production studios are the only integrated manufacturing and rehearsal facility in Scotland. It is the workspace for many highly skilled artisans.

“Bespoke sets, props, costumes and wigs are made for each production alongside teams of specialist stage managers, lighting and stage technology technicians.

“The studios host orchestral players and singers from around the world for rehearsals. They are also the hub for a huge national education and outreach programme.

“The opportunity presented at New Rotterdam Wharf is to transform a single-sided ‘industrial estate’ plot into a mixed-use vibrant urban block, activated on all sides with new cultural, student use and commercial opportunity, all crucially connecting with the western tow-path of the Forth and Clyde Canal, bringing life and vitality to this amazing city centre asset."

Working alongside Page/Park and HarrisonStevens, the project team will open up the current warehouse with feature stepped access from Corn Street to the Forth & Clyde Canal, while earmarking surrounding land for development.

Calling the development, New Rotterdam Wharf this would see Scottish Opera flanked by two wedge-shaped student blocks.

The statement adds: “Pended access under each block provides access to two internal courtyards providing service and visitor access to the Scottish Opera building.

The Herald:

“New broad feature steps at both the north and south ends of the site provide connection between the ends of Sawmillfield St and Corn Street, connecting up to the canal edge.”

Scottish Opera hopes to submit a planning application in early 2024 with the hope that construction could begin in early 2025.

The statement continues: “At the heart of the proposed development is the desire to provide better, more usable public space which can help to activate this part of the city — especially at this section of the Forth and Clyde canal.

“It is believed that this part of the canal could be improved and reactivated with outdoor spaces that are more attractive, more varied and more flexible for public activity.

“Positive placemaking is integral to the proposed development, and the shaping of each massing block has been driven by how we can create great public space in between each block and at the key corners of the site.

“These public spaces are being developed to allow for a wide variety of uses and activities – by Scottish Opera, students, local residents and members of the public.”