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Design & Development

AEG Europe’s Edinburgh arena project set for green light

Featured image credit: AEG Europe

AEG Europe has said it is “determined to enhance” Edinburgh as a venue for live music and other events after its proposed 8,500-capacity arena in the heart of the Scottish capital was recommended for approval.

Planning officials have presented City of Edinburgh Council with a report stating that AEG Europe’s proposal is acceptable, adding there are “no other material considerations that outweigh this conclusion”.

According to the Edinburgh Evening News, a decision is expected to be made on the application at the Council’s next scheduled development management sub-committee meeting, which is due to take place on June 12.

In a statement issued to TheStadiumBusiness.com, Alistair Wood, executive vice-president of real estate and development at AEG Europe, said: “We’re delighted that the proposals for a new arena in Edinburgh are recommended for approval and we look forward to presenting the facts about the proposals at committee and answering any questions elected members may have. 

“This reflects months of consultation and discussion with the public and key stakeholders prior to the application being submitted and a positive ongoing dialogue with all throughout the application process. 

“This is the most sustainable site available and we’re determined to enhance Edinburgh as a venue for live music and other events. We are hopeful the Planning Committee will support the officers’ recommendations.”

The AEG Europe division of sports and live entertainment company AEG submitted its planning application to City of Edinburgh Council back in February.

The venue, spanning 18,500 square metres, will be situated in the Edinburgh Park area, with AEG Europe working alongside master developers Parabola. Plans to deliver what would be the first major indoor arena in Edinburgh were first unveiled in November.

Parabola, developers and site owners of Edinburgh Park, a new cultural quarter for the Scottish capital, have agreed to sell the site for the new venue to AEG Europe. The company has stated that with “unrivalled” public transport and motorway access, including two tram stops within an easy walk, two mainline stations, plentiful bus connections and excellent motorway links, the site in west Edinburgh is “extremely well positioned” to become home to an arena. 

Through an external audit, conducted by Savills, AEG Europe has projected that Edinburgh Park Arena will bring £520m (€610.7m/$665m) per annum of indicative Gross Value Add, including GVA from additional visitor spending outside of the arena.

The project is expected to attract 700,000-plus annual arena visitors with a related estimated annual visitor spend in the Edinburgh region of over £83m. Local employment is also expected to benefit from in the region of 1,300 jobs.

With Edinburgh currently lacking a major arena, local residents are often forced to travel to either Glasgow (OVO Hydro) or Aberdeen (P&J Live) to catch concerts from big-name acts. Previous attempts have been made to deliver an arena for the city.

In December 2019, it was announced that NEC Group would lead the development of a proposed 8,000-capacity indoor arena in Edinburgh. The venue, to be built on a 30-acre site close to the city centre, was set to include conference, retail and leisure space, a cinema and two hotels.

The arena project saw NEC Group team up with Lothian Leisure Development (LLD), a UK based entertainment, leisure and sports venue consultancy.