The Brunton Hall – now known as The Brunton – has unveiled two revamped state-of-the-art concert spaces following an 18-month refurbishment project.
The cast of Scottish Opera’s La Traviata will be the first to tread the new boards with Verdi’s story of love and loss opening on Thursday.
The main hall – which can accommodate 500 seated guests and 800 standing – has been transformed into a versatile performance space capable of hosting concerts, conferences and weddings.
The multi-million-pound facelift was paid for by East Lothian Council, which owns the building, which also houses Brunton Theatre and was first opened by the Queen Mother in 1971.
Lesley Smith, the council’s principal arts officer and general manager at The Brunton, said: “Prior to closure, the venue did host a variety of different events and activities but I think what we have now is the chance to do more of that.
“It’s very much a community asset and well loved by local people. There is more opportunity for community usage, but it could also attract more larger scale events and conferences.
“Through research we found that there were certain elements of the Brunton Theatre which worked very well but because of the limitation in size we could not really bring in the sort of performances we would like to bring in.
“Concert-goers were having to go elsewhere to have that experience, but we are now able to scale up to that next level. This means we can bring in rock and pop events as well as bigger classical concerts which we could not do before.”
A new lift, cloakroom area and redesigned lounge bar have also been created. The kitchen has been extended to cater for up to 400. Dedicated dressing rooms and a performers’ rest area have also been added.
East Lothian Provost Ludovic Broun-Lindsay said: “This much-loved building has always aimed to be a hub for the community. It is a place where we can share, interact, celebrate and be proud of our civic and cultural heritage.”