Assembly Rooms Redevelopment

Client: City of Edinburgh Council

The A Listed Assembly Rooms on Edinburgh’s George Street is a much-loved multi-purpose events venue situated at the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site and a focal point of the International Fringe Festival. It has been enjoyed by many generations of users but its fabric and infrastructure were failing and its facilities no longer met modern user needs and expectations. The project addressed these problems and restored the building to its previous splendour, making it fit for the 21st century and once again a unique and prestigious venue in the heart of the city.

LDN was involved in the project from inception and the final proposals were developed within the context of a business plan prepared by the Council and a Conservation Plan for the building prepared by LDN. Developing proposals were exposed to a wide variety of stakeholders, including community groups, potential operators, and the statutory authorities, and their views taken into account in further developing the proposals.

The work included a comprehensive programme of fabric repairs; the installation of new building services; improvements to fire compartmentation and accessibility; and new decoration throughout the historic spaces to create an impressive suite.

A key element of the proposals was to maximise the flexibility of the building to ensure that different parts of it could be used for separate events at the same time and that the principal historic rooms could accommodate a wide range of uses with the minimum of operational cost and fuss.

The project budget was extremely tight and was funded by the City of Edinburgh Council and other organisations including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland, each with their own requirements that had to be satisfied. Proposals also had to be prioritised and developed as the funding package evolved and it is generally recognised that the completed project achieved excellent value for money.

The success of the project is demonstrated by the fact that many hundreds of thousands of people have used the building since it reopened with uses including dance, comedy, civic receptions, theatre, conferencing and banquets, and the X Factor TV show. The new retail units have attracted prestigious tenants including Jamie Oliver’s Italian Restaurant which now occupies the historic Supper Rooms.

Get in touch to see how we can help you

Contact us →