Two iconic venues in Edinburgh’s Old Town have joined forces in a move which could see them host conferences for up to 750 people.
The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (RCSEd) and the Festival Theatre have linked up in a strategic relationship to create a ‘large conference destination’ which will appeal on the world stage.
The new arrangement looks set to deliver a multi-million-pound boost into the heart of the city and will enable events to take advantage of a 1,900-capacity auditorium at the Festival Theatre.
Surgeons Quarter – the commercial arm of the college – already hosts more than 1,000 events per year 30 of which have in excess of 250 attendees.
Moira Walker, Marketing Manager for Surgeons Quarter, said: “The benefits that our collaboration will bring to Edinburgh are not just financial; these conferences draw in some of the brightest minds from across the world.
“They give our local industry leaders the chance to share work with, and learn from, key players in a variety of fields.
“In keeping with our setting, our venues offer soul and character – qualities that are so often missed in large-scale purpose-built centres.
“We’re located directly across from the Festival Theatre, and in true neighbourly style, we’ve established a solid working relationship over the years.”
The combined offering is being marketed at destinations across the world, from Las Vegas to Frankfurt, thanks to Surgeons Quarter Sales Manager, Elizabeth Squair, who is tasked with driving associated business. Elizabeth will also promote this unique product in Dubai at an ICCA event which Surgeons Quarter is now delighted to be a member of.
Interested parties are being encouraged to make enquiries as early as possible given the theatre’s busy programme of events.
Niall Dewar, Deputy Head of Front of House and Customer Services at Festival Theatre, said: “This is a huge opportunity as it opens up a market and revenue stream otherwise unavailable to us.
“For CEOs and speakers of a more theatrical nature, we’re hopeful the prospect of presenting on the largest stage in Scotland will be hugely appealing.”
“Each of our combined spaces are completely unique and cover every need of any conference – from the main event held here, through to a huge arrange of options for the post-conference social programme.
“In collaborating we can offer the true character of Edinburgh, while fitting around the practical requirements that conference organisers face in the city centre.”
Amanda Ferguson, Head of Business Tourism at Marketing Edinburgh, said: “This agreement between RCSEd and Festival Theatre is a forward-thinking, professional relationship that will see Edinburgh able to offer high-class service in the heart of the Old Town.
“Economically, this is a big deal for the capital. Conference bookings of this size see the monetary benefits ricochet throughout the city, reaching beyond the traditional tourism sector and benefitting Edinburgh’s many industry sectors – facilitating international connections, collaboration and even inward investment.
“The capital is fast making a name for itself as the place to be for conferences and events and it’s excellent to see these organisations helping further enhance that reputation.”
The RCSEd itself boasts historic and modern buildings including its own four-star hotel, Ten Hill Place, which is currently undergoing a major expansion from 77 to 129 rooms.
The College offers the King Khalid building, the Quincentenary Building, the Playfair Building and the Prince Phillip building totalling 16 events spaces, all superbly fitted out with a range of resources to cover all needs.
Meanwhile, Festival Theatre Edinburgh is hardly short of history, with a stunning 1928 art deco auditorium fronted by a sleek and contemporary front of house located on Edinburgh’s longest continuous theatre site, where over a century of famous acts have graced the