John McLellan: We must work together to save Edinburgh Palette

St Margaret's House is set to be turned into housing, forcing Edinburgh Palette to leave (Picture: Ian Rutherford)
St Margaret's House is set to be turned into housing, forcing Edinburgh Palette to leave (Picture: Ian Rutherford)
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Talks about the future of the Edinburgh Palette between the charity, its landlord Caledonian Trust and prospective new site owner Drum Property have started this week, and while it’s improbable that the arts complex will be able to carry on as at present indefinitely, the signs are that all sides are keen to find a solution.

The Palette could have around 18 months left in St Margaret’s House but already Caledonian Trust has been in discussion about possible alternatives.

Whether that amounts to anything is impossible to say, but with the Palette’s lease on the building being on a rolling basis, and planning permission for redevelopment lying on the shelf, the possibility of termination has always been there.

Rather than getting into a fight about the current set-up, what’s needed is a “Friends of the Palette” campaign which seeks to find a much more stable future for what is unquestionably a significant asset not just for the creative community but the city as a whole. Yes, it can include the current and future owners, and maybe something even better can emerge.