New national showground for Scotland

by Caroline Wilkinson | 16 Apr 2008

The Royal Highland Agricultural Society for Scotland (RHASS) is funding a delivery study, to be carried out by construction firm Mace Group, for the proposed £275m Norton Park project in Edinburgh.

The project is part of the relocation of The Royal Highland Centre– Scotland’s National Showground for 150 events and the headquarters of the RHASS, which is being forced to move due the expansion of Edinburgh Airport, planned for 2013.

A compulsory purchase order was recently delivered by BAA for the 200 acres of society land, which has provides an opportunity for RHASS to re-develop at BAA’s expense.

It plans to replace the current Royal Highland Showground in Ingliston with a 10,000-seat arena, a new showground, pavilion and Highland hall.

Olympic master-planners Edaw Aecom and architectural firm Make have already been chosen to design the project.

Ray Jones, chief executive of the RHASS said: “Our new showground will give Edinburgh the opportunity to draw international music artists, exhibitors, conferences and events, as well as a bigger annual Royal Highland Show.

“It will bring tourists, businesses and a substantial economic benefit to the whole of Scotland. The current site generates over £250m annually - something we hope to double with the national showground.”

All facilities at the current RHASS base will be replaced but the indoor arena, which is an alternative to the current site’s Lowland Hall, could cost upwards of £50m. £200m will be generated from the sale to BAA, though the rest of the funding may be sourced from private or public sectors.

Construction is expected to begin in 2010 with the opening planned for 2013.

The Royal Highland Agricultural Society for Scotland (RHASS) is funding a delivery study, to be carried out by construction firm Mace Group, for the proposed £275m Norton Park project in Edinburgh. The project is part of the relocation of The Royal Highland Centre– Scotland’s National Showground for 150 events and the headquarters of the RHASS, which is being forced to move due the expansion of Edinburgh Airport, planned for 2013.
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