Hotel and ‘arts hub’ for plan for gap site in Old Town

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AN Old Town gap site is set to be transformed into a new arts complex, a new home for the French cultural institute and a boutique hotel.

The “arts hub” would take shape on the site of a temporary car park and run-down warehouse in Market Street, next to the City Art Centre and opposite the Fruitmarket Gallery.

The gap site has been lying empty since the 1960s and the warehouse, which has been vacant for more than 20 years, was used by the police to store vehicles which had been impounded.

They were previosuly proposed as a permanent headquarters for Edinburgh’s science festival or an extension to the art centre,

Now the combined site could become a new home for the creative industries, with the possibility of gallery, event and studio spaces, as well as “talent lab” modelled on the Toynbee Studios, in London, and the Arnolfini centre, in Bristol. Other ideas include shared retail and storage facilities, as well as a new cafe-bar spilling out onto an al fresco piazza.

And the French Consulate would move from its long-standing address in the city’s West End.