Design & Development

Edinburgh Park Arena gets green light

Images: AEG Europe

Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, is set to receive its first major arena after AEG Europe secured approved planning permission for a new 8,500-capacity venue which it claims will become the most sustainable in the UK.

Today’s (Wednesday’s) decision by Edinburgh City Council was set into motion by last week’s recommendation for approval from planning officials.

AEG Europe, whose venue portfolio includes London’s The O2 and Uber Arena in Berlin, is working with developers and site owners Parabola on the new arena, which will span 18,500 square metres of regeneration project area of Edinburgh Park to the west of the capital.

AEG Europe’s latest venue investment is expected to bring an estimated £520m (€617.5m/$668.2m) per annum in gross value to the Edinburgh economy. It is also estimated that the arena would inject a further £83m per annum back into the local economy, through the 700,000-plus visitors the arena is expected to attract each year, based on external assessment conducted by Savills. It will also create 1,000-plus operational jobs in and around the Arena.

Alex Hill, president and CEO of AEG Europe, said: “We are delighted to have been granted planning consent for a cutting-edge new venue for Edinburgh.

“Having worked closely with City of Edinburgh Council, we strongly believe the arena will deliver huge benefits to the city throughout every stage of the building’s life cycle – from development to completion, for years to come when we’re bringing the world’s best artists to the Scottish stage.”

Alistair Wood, executive vice-president of real estate and development at AEG Europe, added: “We thank the City of Edinburgh Council for their forward-thinking and proactive approach and for their shared vision of a new best-in-class arena for Edinburgh. 

“We now turn our attention to expanding on these plans through the appointment of an external contractor, as well as seeking naming rights partners and finalising funding partners.”

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

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, agreed to sell the site for the new venue to AEG Europe.

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.

As part of the planning phase, AEG Europe said its guest experience and sustainability experts have been integral in ensuring the venue design and future construction reflects “unprecedented fan-first and sustainability measures”, with further ambitions of ensuring Edinburgh Park will be the UK’s most sustainable arena.

Edinburgh Park Arena will be privately funded. Once an external contractor has been appointed and finance raised, construction is proposed to begin in 2025 and will continue over the course of two years, with the aim of delivering the first event in 2027.