Granton waterfront: National Galleries of Scotland launches second public consultation on North Edinburgh art facility

Ambitious plans by the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) to build an important new building in North Edinburgh where many of the country’s most important art treasures would be safeguarded are gathering pace.

A second public consultation on the The Art Works – part of City of Edinburgh Council’s £1.3 billion Granton Waterfront regeneration project – is now underway.

It takes account of feedback received during a pre-planning consultation held in June 2022.

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The plans have been developed to acknowledge and respond where possible to community feedback on preferred routes for paths, to make the entrance area more open for multipurpose activities, and to improve access and storage for bicycles.

A potential design forthe Art Works, which will be a base for more than 100,000 works of art to be cared for, conserved and researched.

Members of the public are being invited to share their views on the latest proposals by September 16, ahead of a full planning application being submitted to the council in Autumn/Winter 2022.

The Art Works is being designed with a unique dual purpose. Firstly, it will be a base for more than 100,000 works of art to be cared for, conserved and researched. Secondly, the building will be a key focal point for community investment, pride and growth.

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Located on a site west of Madelvic House on Granton Park Avenue, within one of Scotland’s most diverse yet socioeconomically deprived areas, The Art Works will be fully accessible and open to all.

According to National Galleries of Scotland, the building will offer world-class visitor facilities, rooms for education and community programmes, and new outdoor public spaces.

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Each of these elements will be designed to meet the needs of and help realise the spirit and ambition of the local community.

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Sir John Leighton, Director-General of the National Galleries of Scotland said: “I wish to thank everyone who took part in the pre-planning consultation event for The Art Works earlier this summer.

“Their feedback has been crucial in helping refine our proposals to future-proof our collection facilities and deliver on the needs of the communities in North Edinburgh.

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“This new consultation offers further opportunities for people to engage and together help us deliver a truly transformative building that works for all.”

Previously known as the National Collection Facility, proposals for a building of this kind have been in the early stages of concept development since 2015.

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Now known as The Art Works, the new project aims to bring Scotland’s vast and extraordinary national art collection into a single future-proofed location.

At present, the collection is stored across several sites where access and space are extremely limited, logistics are difficult, and conditions are suboptimal for enabling the full potential for public access, conservation and research to be realised; and also for allowing works to be made available for display and loan.

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The Art Works will be instrumental in addressing each of these issues, enabling much greater access to and engagement with Scotland’s artistic treasures.

Further information on the proposals, including a comment form, can be found on the NGS website at www.nationalgalleries.org/theartworks.

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Comments should be made by September 16, when the consultation will close.