Bright future secured for Assembly Rooms

Edinburgh's historic Assembly Rooms venue on George Street is to welcome two new well-known tenants next year, following the completion of major refurbishment works.

Edinburgh-based Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions Ltd will operate the venue during the Festival Fringe, while the Grade A-listed building's famous 'Supper Room' will play host to a 'Jamie's Italian' restaurant.

The news was given to members of the Council's Culture and Leisure Committee earlier today (28 June) and follows a rigorous tendering process.

Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions - the company behind The Stand Comedy Clubs - will take on the venue for the month of August from next year onwards, promising a varied programme of comedy, music and theatre. Founder, Tommy Sheppard, is currently a director on the board of the Festival Fringe Society.

This will be Jamie Oliver's first venture in the Capital and the new George Street establishment is predicted to be exceptionally popular with diners. The world famous chef has opened a number of "neighbourhood" restaurants across the UK since launching his first in Oxford in 2008.

Councillor Deidre Brock, Convenor of Edinburgh's Culture and Leisure Committee said: "The successful companies will help to revitalise this wonderful building, restoring it to its rightful place as the beating heart of George Street.

"Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions have put forward some very exciting plans for their use of the Assembly Rooms during the summer festival period, and we look forward to working with them in the years ahead.

"Jamie's Italian, meanwhile, will bring an exciting contemporary feel to this beautiful and historic venue, exactly as he has done with his restaurant in Cambridge, itself a listed building.

"This urgently needed refurbishment has been made possible in part through the creation of these highly sought-after new retail and restaurant opportunities on the ground floor, whose occupancy will help the Council in borrowing the majority of the money required for the project."

The £9.3m works, which began earlier this year, will fully upgrade the venue throughout, restoring the building to its original grandeur and blueprint, with retail spaces and a restaurant on the ground floor and with four elegant public rooms on the first floor.

The identity of the tenants to take up residence in the two retail units flanking the main entrance will be announced once lease agreements have been finalised.

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