City of Edinburgh Council has approved the restoration of the former Royal High School, architect Thomas Hamilton’s iconic building on Calton Hill, as the National Centre for Music.
The result of a years-long campaign to prevent the redevelopment of the building into a luxury hotel, the decision follows a proposal spearheaded by the Royal High School Preservation Trust (RHSPT) on behalf of a number of partner organisations, including St Mary’s Music School (which will move into the refurbished building), the Benedetti Foundation and IMPACT (International Music and Performing Arts Charitable Trust) Scotland. The bid was backed by an expanded gift from philanthropist Carol Colburn Grigor and the Dunard Fund totalling £55 million to cover the capital costs and support the future maintenance of the building.
Violinist Nicola Benedetti has said, ‘Music, when created, played and listened to with integrity, allows us to strip away all that separates us and urges us to see and feel what unites us. The National Centre for Music presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to enrich the cultural life of Scotland and to serve as a beacon of true 21st century music education for the world to see.’