Project launched to deliver purpose-built Centre of Excellence for Scotland's national orchestra
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) has announced details of its proposed move to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Subject to planning approval the £14 million development will provide a world-class rehearsal space and learning centre, as well as a unique, desirable recital hall and performance space for the city of Glasgow.
The capital costs will be met by a £7 million grant to the RSNO from the Scottish Government and a £5 million allocation from Glasgow City Council towards the new centre of excellence. The remaining £2 million contribution towards building costs will be raised by the RSNO, which also plans to raise a further £1 million to equip the new building. This will offer benefits for the people of Scotland as well as providing world-class facilities to international artists and guests.
The Orchestra, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government have been working together since 2010, preparing to build the flexible, multipurpose unit; a new rehearsal space which will also provide the City with a 600-seater auditorium, recording and broadcast facilities, a learning centre, office space and a redeveloped north entrance for the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
The new development will increase GRCH's ability to service its patrons – the north of the building will be re-modelled to provide better access to the venue and the main auditorium will offer improved accommodation, catering facilities and acoustics.
The new facility will be connected to the east of the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, on Killermont Street, facing the city's Buchanan Street Bus Station. The design of the development has been managed by Glasgow City Council's lead architect Kerr Robertson and his team, whose previous experience includes the highly acclaimed remodelling of Glasgow's City Halls. Subject to planning, building work is expected to commence in the autumn of 2012 with a target completion date of summer 2014, coinciding with Glasgow hosting the Commonwealth Games.
It is hoped that the development, once complete, will attract thousands of extra visitors per year to Glasgow's landmark venue. In addition, the RSNO will have the potential to engage with a much greater number of people, through the ability to present high-quality, in-house education and community programmes. With the fit-out of the latest internet-based digital technology, the organisation's musicians and singers will be able to connect with schools, music and community groups throughout Scotland and beyond. The RSNO moving to the city centre will benefit the local economy with the continued use of the neighbouring amenities by staff, musicians, junior and senior Chorus members and visiting artists.
The Glasgow Royal Concert Halls will still be managed by Glasgow Life and staff are working with promoters and other users of the venue to ensure that the work does not impact on upcoming, scheduled performances. Once complete, the move by the RSNO will complement a year-round programme of events, including Celtic Connections – which ended with another record-breaking run on Sunday.
RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:
This is one of the most significant developments in the history of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra – and we want everyone to play their part in its success. By embarking on this venture, together with the outstanding support of Glasgow City Council, the Scottish Government and the RSNO's loyal friends and supporters, we will be able to deliver a rehearsal space, education facility and recital venue which will be the envy of many in the UK and beyond . Furthermore, the new home will enable Scotland's national orchestra to propel its performance and to engage and communicate with the citizens and communities of Scotland more effectively than ever.
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop:
This project is part of the major regeneration work going on in Glasgow as a result of hosting the Commonwealth Games, which will create a lasting legacy for the people of Scotland beyond 2014. The new development will enhance facilities for audiences, performers, schools, music and community groups, as well as providing a much-needed new home for the RSNO. It will also be a showcase for Scotland's world-renowned culture and creativity during the Commonwealth Games and the second Year of Homecoming, and contribute to the continuing vibrancy of Glasgow's cultural life for years to come.
Leader of Glasgow City Council Gordon Matheson:
We're delighted to be investing in one of Scotland's premier performance spaces, which will create a centre of musical excellence for both the city and nation. These ambitious plans will help to realise new ambitions for the RSNO and enhance the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as a world-class performance space. The physical refurbishment will also offer Glasgow Music greater flexibility in attracting both new and existing talent to the performance space.