Deidre Brock: The Assembly Rooms revamp must go ahead,

A surreal war of words has erupted where Edinburgh city council is being depicted as seeking to deprive its people of one of their most cherished events hubs, while Assembly Theatre Limited styles itself as some kind of people's champion.

The true situation is exactly the opposite.

The council is working to preserve the Assembly Rooms for future generations. Meanwhile, campaigners trying to derail this plan are making dangerously misleading claims to rally support from genuine but unwitting individuals.

The plans have been on the table for close to five years now. We've spent a huge amount of time consulting with, and listening to, building users and stakeholders.

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As a hirer (whose contract for use of the Assembly Rooms, came to an end in 2010), Mr Burdett-Coutts has been regularly invited to propose alternative options, had numerous briefings about the plans and has publicly agreed on several occasions that the building requires refurbishment.

The Assembly Rooms are in dire need of restoration to bring their unique Ballroom, Music Hall and other main event spaces up to 21st-century standards.

The cost of this essential work is 9.3 million. In difficult economic times, the council has managed to commit 2m of capital funding, while additional financial support has been pledged by bodies including Historic Scotland and Creative Scotland.

Yes, these plans mean that small, temporary spaces will no longer be available for Fringe performances. But there's already serious interest in the Assembly Rooms post-revamp from a range of Festival promoters – confounding fears its Festival hub life is over.

If you want to save the Assembly Rooms pay no heed to the doom-mongers. This refurbishment is urgently needed and must begin immediately to allow the Assembly Rooms to play a proud role in Edinburgh's cultural calendar from Festival 2012 onwards.

• Councillor Deidre Brock is culture and leisure convener at City of Edinburgh Council.