Plans revealed for new indoor arena in Edinburgh

Plans revealed for new indoor arena in Edinburgh

Plans have been unveiled for a new 8,000-capacity indoor arena in Edinburgh.

The scheme is a partnership between UK-based entertainment, leisure and sports venue consultancy Lothian Leisure Development Ltd (LLD) and Birmingham-based NEC Group.

The proposed arena will be situated in Straiton just outside Edinburgh city centre, with plans to transform the 30-acre site into a vibrant mixed-use leisure and entertainment destination, also including conference, retail and leisure space, a cinema and two hotels. 

We see this as a revolution in entertainment provision for one of the world's most cultural capitals

Dave Fowler


Dave Fowler, business development director at LLD, said: “These exciting proposals showcase the modern, indoor arena that Edinburgh deserves, and with operating partner NEC on board the capital is assured a pipeline of the world’s greatest entertainment talent.  We also look forward to applying many of the other aspects of the hugely successful NEC Campus to Edinburgh in due course.  We see this as a revolution in entertainment provision for one of the world’s most cultural capitals - and one which will benefit all sections of the community.”

Subject to planning permission NEC Group, which already operates two indoor arenas in Birmingham, will take on full management of the arena including event programming, hospitality, commercial rights, catering and ticketing. 

Phil Mead, Arenas and Ticket Factory Chairman at NEC Group said: “We host over 700 events per year in the Birmingham area and have always planned to take our successful events model to new cities with the backing of our majority shareholder, Blackstone.

"We are already looking forward to opening the redeveloped Bradford Live venue in 2021 and are delighted to now confirm our partnership with LLD which will hopefully see us manage our first venue in Scotland. Edinburgh is well known for its wonderful cultural offering but remains one of the only European capital cities without an indoor arena and so we’re excited by the thought of being able to bring some big names in entertainment to the region.”

The next key milestone for the project is expected to be a planning application by the end of 2020.

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