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Design & Development

AEG sheds further light on Edinburgh arena plans

Featured image credit: AEG Europe

Featured image credit: AEG Europe

AEG Europe has revealed more details of its planned 8,500-capacity arena in Edinburgh after staging a public consultation event in the Scottish capital.

AEG Europe, a division of sports and live entertainment company AEG, first unveiled plans for the venue back in November. It would be the first major indoor arena in Edinburgh.

The venue, which AEG Europe is seeking planning approval for, would be located in the heart of Edinburgh Park. Parabola, developers and site owners of Edinburgh Park, a new cultural quarter in the city, has agreed to sell the site for a new venue to AEG.

Earlier this week, a consultation event was held for the public to learn more about the plans, with a replica model of the venue placed on display. AEG Europe is hoping to stage more than 150 events a year at the arena.

Alistair Wood, executive vice-president for real estate and development at AEG Europe, told the Edinburgh Evening News: “We did a gap analysis of the UK to see where the big gaps were in terms of arenas, and Edinburgh was the best place. We are not planning to go head-to-head with the (OVO) Hydro in Glasgow but perhaps see artists who play there also play here.

“So we are really excited. This should be a great thing for Edinburgh. This is a privately-funded venture which is quite unusual. We think this is a fantastic thing for Edinburgh, at a fantastic site, which is remarkable, right next to a tram stop and train station with great parking facilities also. Although the focus is to get people here on public transport.

“We plan to bring 150-plus events a year to Edinburgh. It’s quite an open and flexible venue so it would be great also for Fringe shows. We can drape areas to make it smaller if needed.”

Wood added that the 8,500 capacity is big enough given Edinburgh’s location and the size of the market. Wood noted that the 14,500-capacity Hydro does not sell out all of its events and he feels a new arena in Edinburgh can fill a gap in the market.

“We have had a positive pre-application consultation with the public and planners,” he said. “Generally, the feedback has been very positive. People are delighted that we are planning to build an arena in Edinburgh, and we can’t wait to deliver it.

“There have been no real concerns so far, just questions about transport, but to have the train and tram stops, as well as pedestrian and cycle links, we couldn’t find a better site than this.”

Previous attempts have been made to deliver an arena for Edinburgh. In December 2019, it was announced that NEC Group would lead the development of a proposed 8,000-capacity venue close to the city centre, but the plans did not come to fruition.