‘This would be attractive to big business’

Have your say

on a musical theme, it seems somehow fitting that a council in financial dire straits is looking at money for nothing.

But we welcome the news that Edinburgh is looking at innovative ways to press ahead with plans for a decent concert arena capable of hosting the sort of big names who currently body-swerve the Capital in favour of Glasgow’s SECC.

And it will obviously be even better if we can build an all-singing, all-dancing facility for free. Because, let’s face it, it is difficult to see where the spare £36 million is coming from.

Today’s revelation that the council will pursue a mega-sponsorship deal to cover the cost of the development through naming rights seems at first glance about as likely as the tram project coming in on time and under budget.

But would it be possible? Certainly there is recent precedent of naming rights earning huge amounts of money. Most of the deals are never made public but Aviva is known to have shelled out in the region of £34m to have its name plastered over the redeveloped Lansdowne Road stadium in Dublin.

While not on the same scale, turning a world-class concert arena beside the airport into a massive advert would surely be attractive to big business.

But potential sponsors will want guarantees, not least that the new concert hall will be able to attract the best and biggest acts and crowds to fill the 12,000 capacity. And that may mean going into competition with Glasgow if we find the number of artists who will choose to play two arena shows within 50 minutes of each other is limited.

We wish the city council well in their pursuit of this important project and, while sceptical, we commend any idea which will save taxpayers’ cash to ensure it is built. After all, the status quo is not an option.

Good deeds rewarded

how many times do we read about someone performing a heroic deed and wonder “what would I have done?”

The brave local people we feature on pages 12 and 13 certainly didn’t think twice, regardless of the danger to themselves. The photographer who pulled a child from a burning house . . . the women who chased a bulldog attacking a boy . . . three teenagers who saw off a burglar . . . the women who made sure a pellet gun thug was caught. All brave, ordinary people, and all deserve to join PC Donald McFadyen, who saved a baby boy, in receiving their police Meritorious Awards.

Their actions show that selfless acts occur all the time in our communities – and we can only hope we’d all act the same way if needed.