Tories promise new concert hall – in Edinburgh, not London

Tories promise new concert hall – in Edinburgh, not London


norman lebrecht

May 18, 2017

The Conservative Party manifesto contains a pledge for a Great Exhibition of the North and a new concert hall in the Scottish capital, ‘reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.’

Nothing for London.


  • Alexander says:

    not so much for keeping UK unity though 😉

  • Margaret Steinitz says:

    Interesting. What happens if Scotland has a second referendum, albeit post March 2019, and votes to leave the UK? Do we still stump up for a new concert hall in Edinburgh? They don’t build themselves overnight either and the timescale for doing so is often under-estimated.
    Note: My husband happened to be in the Lord Mayor’s office for a meeting in the mid 1960s when the first cheques were just being signed off for the new Barbican Hall. The Hall finally opened in 1982.

  • Nik says:

    That’s politics for you.
    The Tories have absolutely nothing to gain from promising a new concert hall to London. Quite the opposite: it would send all the wrong signals to the shires.
    In Scotland they are pitching to become the main unionist party, following the demise of Scottish Labour. This is a clever ruse to gain the attention of the Scottish cultural establishment, which is increasingly disillusioned with the SNP regime.

  • Robert Roy says:

    As I understand it, the new concert hall is to be funded in the greater part by the Dunard Fund who have poured money into the arts in Scotland. I’m not aware of how much the Torys are ‘contributing’ to this but the main impetus is not from central government.

  • Alan says:

    Is this the new ‘home’ of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra or an entirely different initiative?

  • Rgiarola says:

    What is the problem with Usher hall? It is acustically better than many halls in London.

    • Robert Roy says:

      Well, there’s nothing ‘wrong’ with the Usher Hall but it’s too big for chamber recitals or small orchestral ensembles. The idea is to replace the Queen’s Hall which has long since been more than a stopgap.

  • Anon says:

    London is quite capable of funding and building a new hall if it wishes; it should not be anything to do with central government.
    I’d go so far as to say the same for Edinburgh, but all those who call for greater arts funding outside the capital should be very happy about this.

  • Halldor says:

    But London doesn’t want or need a new hall, I thought? Wrong time, wrong place, money would be better spent on education, not enough audience, it’s all a big vanity project for Rattle, etc…I read it all in these very pages.

    Clearly world-class new classical music facilities are a terrible liability and we should feel sorry for Edinburgh, having such a white elephant foisted upon it.

  • Jaybuyer says:

    Ah, the Barbican! The recently ‘renovated’ gents has retained its Old World charm; you still obtain water (to wash your hands, that is) by using a foot pump under the wash basins.