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Exclusive:Edinburgh to give green light to 8,500-capacity concert arena with Taylor Swift link within days

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Exclusive:Edinburgh to give green light to 8,500-capacity concert arena with Taylor Swift link within days

Edinburgh’s ability to attract music superstars is set for another huge boost within days after council chiefs threw their weight behind plans for a new 8,500-capacity indoor arena near the city’s airport.

 

AEG, the entertainment giants putting on this weekend’s Taylor Swift concerts at Murrayfield, are expected to get the green light next week for the venue. It is hoped work on a long-awaited arena for the city will begin in the first half of 2025, with the aim for the venue to be up and running by 2027.
An overall audience of more than 700,000 is expected to flock to the new venue, which would host music, sports and comedy events on a 200,000sqft site at Edinburgh Park.
The venue, which would be served by two existing tram stops and a train station, is predicted to create around 1,350 jobs and generate an additional £520 million for Edinburgh’s economy.
It would be run by AEG, who already operate the 20,000-capacity O2 in London, as well as arenas in Paris, Berlin, Hamburg, Texas, Nevada, California and Shanghai. The company’s other venues include the Hammersmith Apollo in London and the Webster Hall in New York.
If planning permission is secured next week, AEG is expected to launch an immediate hunt for a commercial backer, which would secure the “naming rights” for the Edinburgh arena.

“This reflects months of consultation and discussion with the public and key stakeholders prior to the application being submitted and a positive ongoing dialogue with all throughout the application process.
“This is the most sustainable site available and we’re determined to enhance Edinburgh as a venue for live music and other events. We are hopeful the planning committee will support the officers’ recommendations.”
When plans for the development were lodged earlier this year, Mr Hill said: “The city has long been renowned as a destination for global culture and one of the world’s best for the arts and live entertainment. We’re excited to build on this reputation and bring world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh, as well as investing in the wider Edinburgh Park community.”
The report for councillors on the project, which was announced by AEG in November, said the arena was proposed for a “suitable location”, would be “energy-efficient” and would encourage people to use sustainable methods of transport to and from the venue.
The venue, which would be around the height of a four-storey building, is close to an existing Premier Inn hotel at Lochside Court, as well as the Edinburgh Park rail and tram hub.
The council report states: “The proposed arena building will be positioned slightly northwards on the site and will occupy almost all of the site. A plaza is proposed at the front of the building on the site’s southern end.
“The proposed design of the arena is a ‘bowl’ auditorium, including retractable seating around the event floor. The lower levels will have functional spaces, such as crew and storage areas. The main upper plaza level will give access to the main entrance, which in turn will give access to the main concourse. The lower level of the plaza will give access to the event floor.
“An access from Lochside Court is also proposed, which will give access for ‘premium’ spectators to a lounge and terrace areas.”

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