Construction begins on new home for RSNO and new music venue for Glasgow

Orchestra’s new base will feature world-class education and learning facilities

The construction of a new purpose-built rehearsal and recording facility for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a new 600 seat music venue for Glasgow begins this month [February 2013]. The design of the new home for Scotland’s national symphony orchestra, with a construction cost of £17.6m, meets the challenges of a complex build and provides increased scope and flexibility for the organisation’s education and learning facilities.
The RSNO was tasked with achieving a fundraising target of £2m before construction began, and thanks to a £1.25m grant from Creative Scotland and a number of generous donors it has exceeded this milestone and is on track to raise an additional £1m to fit out the new build. A public appeal to raise the remaining £500,000 starts from today.
The plans for the new wing - which will be integrated with the existing Glasgow Royal Concert Hall - include dedicated state-of-the-art learning, education facilities, with flexible sensory areas, and integrated digital technologies for recording, composing, broadcasting music, and connecting with communities across Scotland and further afield.
The Orchestra’s new home will also be equipped with enhanced foyer spaces for audiences and visitors, a music library for the Orchestra’s extensive archive that will ensure access to scores for research, practice and performance, private practice and small ensemble rehearsal rooms, and administrative and technical offices for the Orchestra and stores for its equipment.
RSNO Chief Executive Michael Elliott:

The RSNO has met its financial commitment to begin construction of its new home and together with increased investment from the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council and welcome contribution from Creative Scotland the project team will meet the complex challenges of the build to provide world class music facilities. The outcome will deliver a bespoke rehearsal and recording space, exceptional education and learning facilities and a recital venue, providing a valuable addition to the country’s cultural venues. For the RSNO the new home will serve as a platform for Scotland’s national orchestra to efficiently and effectively build its reputation and increase its ability to engage and communicate with communities across Scotland. I am delighted to report that we have raised all the funds required for building construction to commence and, in addition to this, have raised half of the £1 million required to fit out our new home.

Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop:

The building will enable the RSNO to share their new facilities with a range of other young musical talent, including the National Youth Performing Companies, while the people of Glasgow will get a purpose-built music venue to further enhance their city’s reputation as UNESCO City of Music.
The RSNO’s new home will boast unrivalled educational and learning facilities, including a music lab where young people can compose or edit music, enhancing their creative and technical skills.
The new wing will also offer digital connectivity across the learning and rehearsal spaces and the main concert hall, allowing performances and other musical activities to be streamed and broadcast to schools and community centres from Shetland to Stranraer. This further develops the RSNO’s award-winning outreach programmes including the Astar CD project that I launched last year.

Councillor Archie Graham, Depute Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of Glasgow Life:

The city’s investment in world-class cultural and sporting facilities has already paid huge dividends and our ambition for the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall is an excellent example of this. From Celtic Connections to the very finest performances from national and international companies, the Concert Hall is a venue which offers something for every audience – and we’re breaking new ground which will further increase access and engagement.

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland:

Creative Scotland is delighted to be able to support this much needed development, another step in ensuring Scotland has world class cultural facilities. The creation of a new home for RSNO will enable the organisation to take a significant step forward in terms of artistic growth, engage with more schools, music and community groups, and provide a better experience for audiences. Furthermore it will help attract top quality conductors and soloists to work with the Orchestra at the same time as ensuring they can retain high quality musicians, ensuring the orchestra can continue to thrive.