Edinburgh Impact Centre wins City Deal funding boost

An artist's impressions of how the proposed Impact Centre will look from St Andrew's Square
An artist's impressions of how the proposed Impact Centre will look from St Andrew's Square
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Edinburgh’s proposed new concert hall has won a significant funding boost thanks to the first round of investments paid for by the City Region Deal.

A total of five projects will share £384m, each of them aimed at unlocking the Capital’s potential to become a global leader in data-driven innovation (DDI) or expanding the city’s cultural offering.

The proposed Impact Centre, billed as Edinburgh’s first new concert hall in more than a century, is among the successful applicants.

If approved by council planners, the 1000-capacity auditorium will have a rooftop dome, glass-covered walkway and outdoor terraces, which could open by 2021.

Other projects to win funding awards include the Bayes Centre at the University of Edinburgh and the National Robotarium at Heriot Watt University.

The DDI initiative is being run by the two universities and includes plans to support schools and colleges across the south-east of Scotland to provide digital skills teaching and training.

The Bayes Centre in Potterrow is the first of five DDI hubs being created as part of the City Region Deal, while the National Robotarium aims to create the UK’s first leading innovation hub for the practical application of robotics and autonomous systems.

READ MORE: Edinburgh bids to become Europe’s data capital

The projects are the first in a series of announcements expected to total around £1.3billion over the next 15 years.

The £384m investment is a combination of capital and revenue funding from all partner elements of each project, which includes local authorities and the UK and Scottish governments.

Adam McVey, chairman of the City Region Deal’s joint committee and City of Edinburgh Council leader, said: “These investments represent the first step in a hugely ambitious and transformative plan to drive inclusive economic growth and make the region a global leader in data-driven innovation.

“This success can only come by pooling resources and the funding provided will benefit our communities through enhanced skills programmes, delivering opportunities for business and improved infrastructure.

“This is just the beginning; further projects are due to be announced in the months and years ahead that will improve the lives of residents across the region.”

Leeann Dempster, chair of the City Region Deal’s regional enterprise council, said: “Delivering dynamic projects that will enable the region to harness the opportunities available in data-driven innovation is a key aim of the City Region Deal. Even at this early stage, the programme is beginning to bear fruit and collaboration between all the partners has been the reason for this rapid progress.

“This first £384million of funding will help future-proof our economy and is something the whole region can benefit from.”