Old Town arts hub a step closer to reality

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COUNCILLORS have approved plans to examine whether a long-standing Old Town gap site can be transformed into a new cultural hub.

A bid will be put together to decide if derelict police garages on Market Street can be redeveloped into an arts complex.

The new building would feature exhibition space and serve as a home for the French Consulate and French Institute for Scotland, which are moving from a series of large townhouses in the West End.

A previous study into getting the project off the ground found a £1 million funding gap. At the city’s monthly full council meeting, Tory city centre councillor Joanna Mowat proposed an architectural competition for the building, but the bid was voted down.

Officials will now review the feasibility of the study, negotiate the provisional purchase of the property and report back to councillors later this year.