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8,000 seat indoor arena earmarked for Straiton

December 2 2019

8,000 seat indoor arena earmarked for Straiton

Edinburgh is set to welcome an 8,000-seat indoor arena at Straiton under plans being brought forward by Lothian Leisure Development (LLD) with the NEC Group for a 30-acre site at Straiton.

Part of a broader mixed-use leisure and entertainment park on the city fringe near the Edinburgh Bypass the arena would be joined by associated retail and leisure facilities as well as a cinema and twin hotels.

Dave Fowler, business development director at LLD commented: “We see this as a revolution in entertainment provision for one of the world’s most cultural capitals - and one which will benefit all sections of the community.”

Outline designs for the arena have been drawn up by Nick Brown Architects with HarrisonStevens and BuroHappold. These will be subject to a series of public consultations before an application for detailed planning permission is made.

Should this be forthcoming NEC would assume responsibility for managing the venue, which could be up and running by the start of 2024 - subject to funding.

A 30-acre site off the Edinburgh Bypass at Straiton has been identified for the venture
A 30-acre site off the Edinburgh Bypass at Straiton has been identified for the venture
Assorted ancillary commercial developments would help pay for the arena's construction
Assorted ancillary commercial developments would help pay for the arena's construction

Facades have been modelled on 'geological forms'
Facades have been modelled on 'geological forms'


Lorna A
#1 Posted by Lorna A on 2 Dec 2019 at 14:55 PM
This seems to assume everyone going there will travelling by car. Surely a new arena needs better public transport links? The NEC in Birmingham is on the main train line. The Sheffield Arena is on the tramline. The new arena in Leeds is right in the city centre, so well served by public transport. The SECC and Hydro have a train station, and are walkable from central Glasgow. This seems to be surrounded by a sea of car park.
#2 Posted by Asimov on 2 Dec 2019 at 14:59 PM
Should this go ahead, I feel for all of poor chaps staying in the traffic for two hours trying to leave the area. I also believe the ground level parking is too small - should designers feel like forcing people to ride share or, goodness forbid, a public transport (non-existent)? Unbelievable, shame on you designers...
#3 Posted by wonky on 2 Dec 2019 at 15:11 PM
Its as if the climate crisis isn't happening- this is a monument to our collective denial...
#4 Posted by David on 2 Dec 2019 at 16:49 PM
How utterly depressing. No wonder our high streets are on their knees when dross like this keeps getting approved. Planners should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. Just look at the amount of parking. Isn't it obvious whats going on here? Developers build cheap retail warehouses on cheap land with free parking...bang, there you go.

'A revolution in entertainment provision' my arse!...what total bulls...
#5 Posted by jeremy on 2 Dec 2019 at 17:08 PM
Agree with comment saying sustainable transport links should be one of key design considerations for this - it does seem like strange location. However, David - your comment is a bit premature. This hasn't even been designed or submitted to planning yet, planners have made no decision on it. These are just conceptual visualisations.
Minecraft Ghast
#6 Posted by Minecraft Ghast on 2 Dec 2019 at 17:09 PM
I'm gonna shoot a fireball atcha
Common Sense
#7 Posted by Common Sense on 2 Dec 2019 at 22:33 PM
How grim.

In what world would you ignore the significant investment/expansion that is happening to the tram network in Edinburgh and its extensive Lothian buses network and not have the arena located in Leith or somewhere close to the core tram/bus network in order to then benefit from it?

Considering how successful Glasgow's SSE Hydro and Aberdeen's P&J Live arenas are to their economies and name/reputation, to learn that Edinburgh's own entertainment venue if according to this proposal would only hold 8,000 and be ultimately car-centric and dependent on the car to get to/from it, would be a colossal mistake and one that would be looked back at in absolute horror as it would short change the city and hinder its economic success now and into the future.

If we look ahead Edinburgh is projected to increase its populaton to over 600,000, so why not show some ambition and up the capacity to a 20,000 in-door arena (as Glasgow should also have done with the Hydro) as it would more than sustain itself and be nothing short of a massive success imo?
Partick Bateman
#8 Posted by Partick Bateman on 3 Dec 2019 at 08:55 AM
This would look better on the beaches of Normandy.

Also agree with previous comments; it's in the wrong location. Difficult finding somewhere in the centre but either Gogar or around Leith harbor would be better.
#9 Posted by classarchitect on 3 Dec 2019 at 12:18 PM
Sandstone rainscreen cladding...that will get it through planning! Tick. And an RIAS award. Tick. Then on a site like that it will weather like nothing you've ever seen before. Students will travel for miles (by bus) to learn about the pitfalls of bad detailing and marvel at the patchy green/black mess.
Walt Disney
#10 Posted by Walt Disney on 3 Dec 2019 at 15:41 PM
Right idea, wrong location, wrong city (even though its Midlothian). Edinburgh is easy to get around so long as you are going to something near Waverley, Haymarket or Edinburgh Park. Cars and buses are are a joke in Edinburgh and the tram is only of minor use to tourists who don't understand that getting a bus from the airport is quicker and cheaper.

You can't compare this to the hydro or the SECC. You can walk to both of these venues easily from the city centre. This is in Straiton, which is very close to that car park often referred to as the 'City Bypass'. I imagine Midlothian Cooncil will be licking their lips at the revenue they will get from the site.
Trombe Wall
#11 Posted by Trombe Wall on 3 Dec 2019 at 21:19 PM
Simply, just another Retail Park. Straiton is depressing enough, without having another right beside it.
#12 Posted by engineerjim on 4 Dec 2019 at 08:35 AM
I can see the pros and cons of the locations, ideally I think in city like at the water front, 2nd favorite place would be near airport.
Is this a sign for a bypass expansion or outer Edinburgh Ring Road
#13 Posted by Dulnain on 5 Dec 2019 at 18:15 PM
Love the concept of a multi-storey car park surrounded on 3 sides by a car park. Wrong place surely for such a development.
#14 Posted by JohnMF on 6 Dec 2019 at 10:39 AM
Midlothian has done an appalling job of planning, or rather not planning, the whole Straiton area. The A701 corridor, which implies a degree of free movement, now has to be bypassed, in order to re-establish the free movement between Edinburgh and its hinterland that has been denied by the said absence of planning. The outcome is reminiscent of some unplanned series of unrelated developments in an American suburb. Is this area suitable for a major generator of road traffic on this scale? I suspect not.
#15 Posted by CD on 6 Dec 2019 at 18:55 PM
Another assault on the Greenbelt, this time on entire wooded area in a spot that has almost no tree cover left for wildlife, and during a Climate Emergency no less. The people in the Straiton Park homes right beside this got eviction notices out of the blue last year, once again leisure prioritised over homes. Greed over need. Ref: ‘Fears for elderly over Straiton mobile home closure’ Edinburgh Evening News
#16 Posted by DIANE MOFFAT on 7 Dec 2019 at 15:24 PM
About effin time. Capital city with nothing like what Glasgow has. Even Sean Connery got involved in the plans for a new venue at South Gyle but it didn't happen. So sick of having to go through to Glasgow to see my favourite bands.
Peter Skellett
#17 Posted by Peter Skellett on 24 Jan 2020 at 15:54 PM
Another blot on the landscape which thanks to a cash strapped council gets the go ahead. Roads can't handle the traffic as it is but we'll have an 8000 seat venue...... more fabulous thinking from the clowncil. Trebles all round for the guys at the top.
paul bush
#18 Posted by paul bush on 28 Oct 2020 at 18:15 PM
i live in the most easterly town of England. We have nothing like this near us. We would love to have a facility like this. You should be greatful that people have the vision to make these things hopefully happen

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