Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Planners back Edinburgh nightclub gallery extension

Fruitmarket Gallery extension artist impression Image copyright Reiach and Hall Archictects
Image caption An artist's impression of the proposed new ramp for the Fruitmarket Gallery

Planners have backed proposals to extend a city centre art gallery into a disused nightclub.

Officials have recommended that councillors approve plans by the Fruitmarket Gallery on Market Street to refurbish and extend the current art space.

The listed former Electric Circus nightclub closed in March 2017.

The proposals will be determined by the council's development management sub-committee on Wednesday.

The nightclub building was originally developed in the 1930s as a wholesale fruit and vegetable warehouse until 1972 when the club opened.

Image copyright Reiach and Hall Archictects
Image caption An artist's impression of the proposed warehouse space at the Fruitmarket Gallery

The £3.75m proposals include a double height space similar to the Tate Tanks in London. Accessibility would also be increased, as well as space for installations, performances and collaborations.

The project will also create a space for engagement, as well as back-of-house, workshop and storage facilities.

Some of the existing gallery activities would be moved to the extension.

'Very excited'

Fiona Bradley, Fruitmarket Gallery director, said: "We are very excited about the project, which has opportunities for artists and audiences at its heart.

"It will deliver an inspirational new space for creative, collaborative working and renovate the Fruitmarket's existing spaces, ensuring that we can continue to operate at the forefront of contemporary culture for decades to come."

A new internal access ramp would form a connection between the existing gallery to the east.

A new entrance will be provided by the Fruitmarket Gallery with the existing columns retained.

The proposals have not drawn any objections from members of the public.

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