​Plans for new 8,500-capacity arena in Edinburgh given green light

AEG has secured planning permission to build the new arena

Plans for a new 8,500-capacity arena in Edinburgh have been given the go-ahead after entertainment giants AEG secured planning permission yesterday (June 12).

The new supersize venue is projected to open in Edinburgh Park in 2027 and will cost an estimated £80 million. Building work hopes to begin in 2025.

AEG - the company behind London’s O2 Arena and Berlin’s Mercedes Benz Arena - were granted planning permission after discussions with the local council.

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The entertainment giant claimed that the venue could bring in 700,000 visitors each year, and would create 700 jobs for those in Edinburgh.

The venue’s naming rights, first dubbed the Carlton Arena in the planning phase, will be sold to a sponsor before its projected opening in 2027.

Developers and site owners Parabola are also teaming up with AEG on the new project. The venue is set to span three levels across 18,500 square metres.

According to the BBC, Edinburgh is one of the UK’s largest cities without a major music venue. AEG Europe executive vice president Alistair Wood said that the new space would “fill a massive gap in the market”.

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“Having worked closely with the City of Edinburgh Council, we strongly believe the arena will deliver huge benefits to the city throughout every stage of the building’s life cycle from development to completion, for years to come when we’re bringing the world’s best artists to the Scottish stage,” he said.

Despite the addition of a new large-scale arena venue, grassroots venues in the UK continue to struggle through rising costs and the threat of closure.

A recent report by the Music Venues Trust revealed that 125 grassroots music venues in the UK stopped showcasing live music, with over half closing down throughout 2023, suffering their “most challenging year” yet.

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter