RSNO unveils plans for new Glasgow home

RSNO performing at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Picture: Tom Finnie
RSNO performing at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. Picture: Tom Finnie
Share this article
Have your say

A £500,000 campaign to have a new home ready for Scotland’s flagship orchestra ready in time for the Commonwealth Games was launched today - as it emerged the cost of the project had risen by 40 per cent in the space of two years.

• Scotland’s flagship orchestra has unveiled plans for its new home in Glasgow opposite city’s main bus station

• Cost of project has risen by 40 per cent in two years

Work began today on what is being billed as a “new home for music in Glasgow” opposite the city’s main bus station as it was revealed the final bill had risen to £18.6 million.

Potential donors, who are being asked to pay between between £250 and £1,000, will be recognised on a new digital screen inside the venue, which will be available to other musical groups and festivals in the city, like the concert hall.

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra said it will boast a “world-class” rehearsal, recording and performance facility when the new building is added to the existing Royal Concert Hall next year.

The final funding package for the project, which will effectively extend the concert hall onto its existing goods yard, was revealed today, two years after the city council had ruled out the construction of a venue on a stand-alone site because of the estimated £30 million cost.

A new £1.25m grant for the project was confirmed today by Creative Scotland, months after the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council agreed to up their own contributions to £8.5m and £7.1m respectively.

The RSNO, currently operating from cramped headquarters at the Henry Wood Halls on Claremont Street, said it had now raised £1.25m through its own fundraising efforts thanks to private donors and sponsorship deals, with £500,000 of that going towards the final “fit-out” costs.

The appeal will help for the creation of new rehearsal rooms, a music library for the RSNO’s archive and a new education hub aimed at rearing a new generation of classical musicians.

New image of how the 600-capacity venue will look have also been revealed to coincide with the launch of the campaign, which will pay for the final fit-out of the building.

It will be equipped with state-of-the-art digital equipment to allow the RSNO to record and broadcast concerts to the rest of the country.

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”.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop: “The building will enable the RSNO to share their new facilities with a range of other young musical talent, 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.”

Iain Munro, director of creative development at Creative Scotland, said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to be able to support this much needed development, another step in ensuring Scotland has world class cultural facilities.”