New cinema planned as part of Scotsman Hotel refurbishment

A cinema is part of the plans for a refurbishment of the Scotsman Hotel, the former offices of the Scotsman newspaper on North Bridge. Ian Rutherford.
A cinema is part of the plans for a refurbishment of the Scotsman Hotel, the former offices of the Scotsman newspaper on North Bridge. Ian Rutherford.
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A NEW cinema is set to be opened under £10 million plans aimed at revamping the Scotsman Hotel building on North Bridge.

Hospitality company G1 Group – which owns 50 venues across the country including Ghillie Dhu, Espionage nightclub and Biddy Mulligans in the Capital – has lodged a listed building consent request for permission to refashion the layout of the Edwardian building and add new leisure features, including a two-screen cinema.

If the proposals are approved, the cinema, which it is hoped will be open to the public, would be accessed via an entrance on Fleshmarket Close.

Early-stage blueprints also include plans to create more bedrooms, reconfigure the hotel’s main entrance and reception area, relocate the breakfast room and update the appearance of the spa.

G1’s planning consultant Suzanne McIntosh said there was no additional information on changes planned for the spa but a “second phase of work is currently being looked at” for the facility.

And head of brand development Susi Sinclair said that the overhaul could potentially address necessary improvements to the brasserie and gym.

“We are working on some exciting sample room proposals to ensure any future guest experience exceeds expectations,” she said.

“We are also fully reviewing the brasserie, cinema, spa and gym facilities. We aim to take a fresh view on all the hotel and potentially add some new facilities which have never previously featured.

“Understandably with the volume of work required the review is at a very early stage and as such we are unable to commit to what future features may be included.”

Senior figures at the firm have also said that dealing with complications inherited from the building’s previous owners would take precedence over any changes.

Ms Sinclair said: “The Scotsman Hotel is now undoubtedly the jewel in the crown for G1 Group.

“But given that we purchased the property out of administration, it is fair to say we inherited some onerous property and system issues.

“As such our prime focus ahead of the festival has been carrying out essential maintenance to ensure our current guests receive the best possible experience expected from the Scotsman.”

Morgan McDonnell Architects – award-winning designers of the Advocate’s Close re-development – will be steering the project.

The firm, which is run by entrepreneur Stefan King, announced that it was buying the iconic Scotsman hotel – former home of the Scotsman newspaper – in February.

The hotel was put on the market after it fell into liquidation in June last year. It emerged in November that the hotel building had been put up for sale.

Mr King said at the time that the purchase confirmed G1’s commitment to Edinburgh.