Tattoo stands and delivers £16m arena

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A NEW multi-million-pound arena is set to be in place for the Edinburgh Military Tattoo in 2011 event after organisers finalised a funding package for the project.

Officials said they were set to go ahead with the creation of new 16 million spectator stands and corporate hospitality boxes within months.

Tattoo chiefs dismissed speculation that the scheme was being delayed due to the impact of the economic downturn and problems securing 12m of public funding.

The project will cut the time it takes to erect and dismantle the spectator stands, to between three and four weeks, allowing the Esplanade to host more year-round events.

A planning application is expected to be lodged early in 2010.

The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise are understood to have reached agreement to match the 3m set aside for the project more than a year ago by Edinburgh City Council.