Council sets the stage for Ross Bandstand rebuild

The City of Edinburgh Council has committed to progressing proposals to rebuild Edinburgh's famous Ross Bandstand.

Ross Bandstand fireworks

It is hoped the historic venue, situated in the heart of West Princes Street Gardens, could undergo redevelopment with the support of benefactor Norman Springford under a shared multi-million pound vision which would include new landscaping, visitor facilities and a refurbished Ross Fountain. 

At a meeting of the Full Council next week (Thursday 30 June), members will discuss a report (Item 8.8) outlining the planned appointment of a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) to front the proposed redevelopment. 

Under current plans, this charitable trust will launch a design competition for the site which, if approved by the Council and permitted by the Scottish Parliament, could see work underway by 2020. 

In April, it was announced the Council held ambitions to renew the Gardens for the year-round benefit of communities and visitors through fundraising and in consultation with heritage bodies, festival producers and residents.

Council Leader Andrew Burns, Convener of the Corporate Policy and Strategy Committee, said: "While the Ross Bandstand remains a key venue for the city’s famous Festival Fireworks and Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens, it is more than 80 years old and is nearing the end of its useful life. 

"By working in partnership with a SCIO, we hope to be able to work towards the creation of a new facility as part of major renewal of the Gardens. The area is Common Good land and we are well aware of the implications of building in public parks, so while there is still much work to be done, we are making a commitment to supporting and progressing plans.”  

Richard Lewis, the city's Culture Convener, added: "In the shadow of Edinburgh Castle in the heart of West Princes Street Gardens, the Ross Bandstand boasts what must be one of the most recognisable backdrops on earth. 

“We are making a considerable step by progressing redevelopment ideas for the site and I hope that by working with Mr Springford, we will be able to support an exciting design competition with the SCIO to see this incredible asset brought back into suitable use."

City hotelier and benefactor for the project Norman Springford said: "A charitable trust has been set up and we are all looking forward to moving this project forward which will hopefully deliver immediate improvements in West Princes Street Gardens."

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