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Councillors have approved plans for the first new music venue for over a century in Edinburgh’s New Town. It will be called the Dunard Centre which is a nod to philanthropist Carol Grigor and the Dunard Fund which is responsible for a portion of the funding. It is also supported by Royal Bank of Scotland.

The venue is the flagship cultural project of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Welcoming the decision, Sir Ewan Brown, Chairman of IMPACT Scotland said:“Today’s decision is tremendous news for the City and turns the ambition for a world-class centre for music and performance, into a reality.

“I am particularly pleased to announce today that the official name of the venue will be Dunard Centre supported by Royal Bank of Scotland, this is in recognition of the huge contribution Carol Grigor has made to this project through the charitable trust Dunard Fund.

“We now have the opportunity to create an exciting new venue for everyone, in a building to be proud of.”

Speaking during the committee hearing, architect Sir David Chipperfield said: “This will be a public building that relates to Edinburgh on a civic scale by both fitting in and standing out in order to perform an important social and cultural role in a city with strong established cultural traditions.”

The Scottish Secretary David Mundell said:“I am delighted to see the progress being made to deliver this much needed music and performance centre in Edinburgh.

“Backed with £10 million of UK Government funding, the Dunard Centre is the first new venue of its kind to be built in the city in 100 years and will reaffirm Edinburgh as a global cultural leader.

“Offering the very best acoustics, comfortable seating and acting as a hub for all kinds of performance, the centre is part of the UK Government’s £300 million investment in the Edinburgh and Southeast Scotland City Region Deal. 

“We are working to create opportunities, jobs and long-term growth right across Scotland, and so far have committed more than £1.35 billion in City and Growth Deals to help achieve this.” 

Commenting, Adam McVey said: “The city region deal has given us the first opportunity for more than 100 years to create a new concert hall in Edinburgh! It’s a hugely exciting time and now that the designs have planning permission, the project can move forward. The creation of the Dunard Centre will provide an excellent new venue and home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and another exiting development on St Andrew Square. None of it would be possible without our ambitious city deal or the generosity of philanthropists like Carol Grigor. Together, we’re opening up an exciting new chapter in Edinburgh’s already thriving cultural scene to help more of our residents to take part in and enjoy the arts.”

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