Edinburgh music arena plans could see 8500-capacity venue built at Edinburgh Park
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It is hoped that work could start on the new venue, which promises to bring “world-class live music and entertainment” to the city, early next year. The first acts are then expected to take to the stage in 2027 under the planned timetable.
AEG, which operates the O2 Arena in London, has earmarked a vacant site north of the Edinburgh Park tram stop and railway station for the venue. The earmarked site is adjacent to a new “cultural quarter” which is taking shape in the area as part of a wider-development which has been expected to create 1,800 new homes and offices.
Its developer, Parabola, has agreed to sell part of its land to AEG, which has also been in talks with the city council. If approved, the arena development would end Edinburgh's long search for a full-time indoor arena capable of playing host to some of the world’s biggest stars.
The company also runs indoor arenas in Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, California, Nevada and Shanghai. Its plans for the Edinburgh Park site have been revealed 20 years after the MTV Europe Music Awards were staged in Leith.
AEG has announced its plans months after work began on the first purpose-built new concert hall in Edinburgh city centre for more than a century, which is earmarked for a site off St Andrew Square.
Alex Hill, president and chief executive of AEG Europe, said: “AEG is thrilled to announce this spectacular new arena for Edinburgh. It’s a location with immense potential, amplified by Parabola’s transformative development and regeneration of Edinburgh Park.
"The much needed 8,500-capacity arena will bring world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh, further cementing its reputation as a destination for culture and global tourism. We look forward to this development becoming an integral part of the local community and complementing one of the best cities in the world for the arts and live entertainment.”
AEG will be staging an exhibition of its initial arena plans for the project next month at 1 New Park Square, a new office building, bar-restaurant and music venue which has been created at the heart of the Edinburgh Park “cultural quarter.” A nearby site previously played host to a pop-up concert venue during the 2021 Edinburgh International Festival.
Parabola founder Peter Millican said: “Parabola is delighted to be working with AEG in the delivery of such an iconic venue for the city.
"This investment will complement all that is on offer at Edinburgh Park and ensure that the arts and culture has an outstanding live performance facility. The new arena will put west Edinburgh on the map as a new cultural destination.”
City council leader Cammy Day said: “It’s great news for the city that a respected international operator is keen to develop a new arena at Edinburgh Park to complement the fantastic cultural facilities and events the city already offers.
‘Edinburgh has been trying to deliver an arena for many years. This proposal sees us as close as we’ve ever been. The site at Edinburgh Park is an excellent location for a mid-sized venue, with close proximity to Edinburgh Airport and excellent public transport links.
"Alongside the new concert hall in the city centre, we may be seeing the last pieces of the cultural jigsaw in Edinburgh fall into place. We're delighted to see the relationship between AEG and Parabola has resulted in this flagship proposal and we’ll consider their plans over the next few months. We welcome feedback and comments from anyone with an interest in the proposed arena and its future.”