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Studio theatre planned as part of new Edinburgh performance complex

Artist's impression of a performance at the new 200-seat studio theatre space at Edinburgh's new Impact Centre. Photo: Hayes Davidson

A 200-seat studio theatre space is to be included in a new concert and performance venue being planned in Edinburgh’s New Town.

The £45 million Impact Centre, situated behind the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Dundas House on St Andrew Square, is being built as a new home for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

The main 1,000-seat auditorium will also serve as a new venue for the Edinburgh International Festival.

Funding includes £25 million from Edinburgh’s City Deal alongside substantial philanthropic donations, notably from the Dunard Fund, which is a major backer of the EIF.

The news comes as design images of the complex have been released and a full planning application is made to the city of Edinburgh council.

The design has been completed by a team led by David Chipperfield Architects with support from Nagata Acoustics. It has evolved over the last year following consultations with the public, city officials and heritage bodies.

Chair of Impact Scotland Ewan Brown said: “We believe we now have a building designed to attract performers and audiences of all ages, backgrounds and interests, to a bustling, all-day public space where everyone feels welcome, in a building to be proud of.”

Impact says that the venue will “rival the best venues in Europe for acoustics and audience experience”, adding that it will be a home for all kinds of music and performance, from orchestral to jazz, folk to pop and electronica, and will welcome chamber groups, soloists, choirs, bands and dance ensembles.

The studio theatre will be available for performance as well as a rehearsal space.