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Sir Robert McAlpine to build £45m Edinburgh concert hall

7 August 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

Image: David Chipperfield Architects

Sir Robert McAlpine has won a £45m deal to build Edinburgh’s first purpose-built music and performance venue in 100 years.

Client the International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust (IMPACT), supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, was set up in 2016 to oversee the development of the Dunard Centre in Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square.  

The new venue will be built on a site adjoining the listed Dundas House and will feature a 1,000-seat auditorium, a 200-seat studio, a large foyer for informal performances and a café/bar. The concrete and steel construction will require complex building services due to the acoustic requirements of the auditoria.

Sir Robert McAlpine was one of two firms to submit a bid in the two-stage tender process. The deal involves a pre-construction services agreement and an NEC Option A contract.

The project is receiving £25m through the Edinburgh City Region Deal (made up of £10m from the UK government, £10m from the Scottish government, and £5m from the City of Edinburgh Council). All other funding is being met privately, most significantly from the Dunard Fund.

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