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New 8000-seat indoor music arena planned for Edinburgh

Developers believe the new complex would attract major entertainment stars to the capital.

How the new indoor arena on the outskirts of Edinburgh would look
How the new indoor arena on the outskirts of Edinburgh would look NEC Group

Plans for an 8000-seat indoor music and events arena for Edinburgh have been revealed.

Developers want to transform a 30-acre site at Straiton on the outskirts of the capital. Proposals include conference, retail and leisure space, a cinema and two hotels, as well as an indoor arena.

The plans have been put together by Lothian Leisure Development Ltd (LLD) and leisure group NEC Group.

NEC Group, which already operates two indoor arenas in Birmingham, said the arena would attract major entertainment acts.

Phil Mead, arenas and ticket factory chairman at NEC Group, said: "Edinburgh is well known for its wonderful cultural offering, but remains one of the only European capital cities without an indoor arena and so we're excited by the thought of being able to bring some big names in entertainment to the region."

LLD is in discussions with several parties to secure funding for the development phase of the project. It is hoped a planning application will be submitted by the end of 2020.

Dave Fowler, business development director at LLD, said: "These exciting proposals showcase the modern indoor arena that Edinburgh deserves and with operating partner NEC on board the capital is assured a pipeline of the world's greatest entertainment talent.

The plans include conference, retail and leisure space, a cinema and two hotels, as well as an indoor arena.
The plans include conference, retail and leisure space, a cinema and two hotels, as well as an indoor arena. NEC Group

"We also look forward to applying many of the other aspects of the hugely successful NEC Campus to Edinburgh in due course.

"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."

Event and concert promoters have welcomed the news.

Dave McGeachan from DF Concerts said: "These days it is rare that a capital city doesn't have an arena so this is a long awaited and positive addition to the Scottish entertainment market."

Mark Mackie, from Edinburgh-based Regular Music, said: "A venue offering audience capacities between 5,000 to 8000 will dovetail nicely with the existing facilities in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

"We eagerly await the opening when we look forward to presenting a varied range of artists."

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