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AEG Europe gives update on Edinburgh arena plans

AEG Europe has provided an update on the company’s plans for a new 8.500-cap arena in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The promoter and venue operator is seeking planning approval for the venue in Edinburgh Park, with hopes to launch it in 2027.

A second public consultation event took place in the Scottish capital earlier this week, which features more detail of the scheme, along with a replica model of the proposed arena.

“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,” AEG Europe’s EVP for real estate and development Alistair Wood tells the Edinburgh Evening News.

“We are not planning to go head to head with the 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.”

Wood says that AEG plans to bring 150-plus events a year to the venue.

“We are not going to get Beyoncé playing in this arena. But we could attract the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs and other similar level music acts”

“It’s been a long time in the making, but it’s privately funded and in a great location with unbeatable transport links,” he continues. “Momentum is key for us, we don’t want the project to stall and these plans to be forgotten about, we want to get going and get the place open as quickly as possible.”

Wood also responds to concerns that the Edinburgh proposal is not of a sufficient scale to compete with Scotland’s biggest indoor venues, Glasgow’s 14,300-cap Hydro and the 15,000-cap P&J Live in Aberdeen. Edinburgh’s current largest indoor venue is the 3,000-cap O2 Academy Edinburgh. The Royal Highlands Centre, situated on the outskirts of the city, holds 10,500 and is occasionally used for concerts.

“It’s the size of the market,” says Wood. “If you look at the overall location of Edinburgh, it extends quite a long way north and south, but not west. So we had to be realistic.

“We are not going to get Beyoncé playing in this arena. But we could attract the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs and other similar level music acts as well as comedians like Michael McIntyre, and this capacity is perfect for them. A lot of shows at the Hydro don’t play to a full venue, so we think this is the perfect size for Edinburgh and the perfect size for our first venue in Scotland.”

Subject to planning permission, work is expected to begin on the project in early 2025.

“We have had a positive pre-application consultation with the public and planners,” adds Wood. “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.”


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