Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Comedy and Jamie Oliver fill Edinburgh's Assembly Rooms

Assembly Rooms in George Street
Image caption The Assembly Rooms building in George Street is undergoing an 18-month refurbishment

Two new tenants have been announced for Edinburgh's historic Assembly Rooms building on George Street.

Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions Ltd will operate the venue during the Festival Fringe.

The grade A-listed building will also become home to the capital's first Jamie's Italian restaurant, operated by TV chef Jamie Oliver.

The Assembly Rooms is undergoing major refurbishment works, costing £9.3m.

Edinburgh's biggest Fringe promoter, The Assembly Theatre, moved out of the venue earlier this year.

Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions - the company behind The Stand Comedy Clubs - will take on the venue for the month of August from next year onwards, promising a varied programme of comedy, music and theatre.

Jamie Oliver has opened a number of "neighbourhood" restaurants across the UK, including one in Glasgow, since launching his first in Oxford in 2008.

The announcement about the new tenants was made at the city council's culture and leisure committee and follows a tendering process.

Original grandeur

Committee convener Councillor Deirdre Brock said: "The successful companies will help to revitalise this wonderful building, restoring it to its rightful place as the beating heart of George Street.

"Salt 'n' Sauce Promotions have put forward some very exciting plans for their use of the Assembly Rooms during the summer festival period, and we look forward to working with them in the years ahead.

"Jamie's Italian, meanwhile, will bring an exciting contemporary feel to this beautiful and historic venue, exactly as he has done with his restaurant in Cambridge, itself a listed building."

The refurbishment programme will fully upgrade the venue throughout, restoring the building to its original grandeur and blueprint, with retail spaces, the restaurant on the ground floor and four public rooms on the first floor.

The identity of further tenants will be announced once lease agreements have been finalised.

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