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Royal High School saga takes a fresh turn with National Centre for Music bid

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September 3 2021

Royal High School saga takes a fresh turn with National Centre for Music bid

The Royal High School Preservation Trust have ushered in a new phase to the saga of the Calton Hill landmark with updated proposals for a new National Centre for Music.

Detailed proposals have been brought before City of Edinburgh Council to restore the old Royal High School as a performance venue and music school, drawing a period of uncertainty surrounding the Thomas Hamilton landmark to a close.

As before St Mary's Music School remain central to the vision but this time around a network of partner organisations including Benedetti Foundation and the International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust (IMPACT) will also be involved.

William Gray Muir, chairman of The Royal High School Preservation Trust said: “The passage of time from 2016 to 2021 has allowed us to consult on and revise some aspects of our design proposal and to evolve our ambitions for the building to create a vision for a new National Centre for Music. In doing so we have brought in new partners in IMPACT Scotland and the Benedetti Foundation, who with us and St Mary’s Music School see this project as a means to create an entirely new way for everyone to engage with and enjoy classical music and the arts.”

Additional funding totalling £55m has now been secured to realise the expanded remit which includes space for a cafe, gallery and visitor centre set within fully accessible public gardens. The design team includes Richard Murphy Architects with Simpson & Brown, Optimised Environments and David Narro Associates. 

New terraces will make the most of the hilltop setting
New terraces will make the most of the hilltop setting
The former school is now set to become a centre for music
The former school is now set to become a centre for music

1 Comment

Richard Paris
#1 Posted by Richard Paris on 26 Sep 2021 at 20:30 PM
Removal of yet more parking areas.

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