DEVELOPERS have revealed plans for a long-awaited indoor arena for Edinburgh – an 8000-capacity venue on a 30-acre site on the outskirts of the capital.

Lothian Leisure Development Ltd (LLD) will partner with the Birmingham-based NEC Group to transform the site at Straiton with conference facilities, retail and leisure space, a cinema and two hotels, as well as the arena itself.

Developers said the venue will be a much-needed addition to the capital, complementing Edinburgh’s cultural and entertainment offering and providing a significant tourism and jobs boost for the region.

NEC already operates two indoor arenas in Birmingham and is supporting LLD as they take the Straiton proposals to “full feasibility stage”. They will also take on full management of the arena, including event programming, hospitality, commercial rights, catering and ticketing, once planning permissions are in place.

Dave Fowler, business development director at LLD, said: “These exciting proposals showcase the modern, indoor arena that Edinburgh deserves, and with operating partner NEC on board the capital is assured a pipeline of the world’s greatest entertainment talent. We also look forward to applying many of the other aspects of the hugely successful NEC Campus to Edinburgh in due course.

“We see this as a revolution in entertainment provision for one of the world’s most cultural capitals - and one which will benefit all sections of the community.”

LLD is already in discussions with several parties to secure funding for the development phase and it is hoped a planning application will be submitted by the end of next year.

Phil Mead, arenas and Ticket Factory chair at NEC Group, said: “We are already looking forward to opening the redeveloped Bradford Live venue in 2021 and are delighted to now confirm our partnership with LLD which will hopefully see us manage our first venue in Scotland.

“Edinburgh is well known for its wonderful cultural offering but remains one of the only European capital cities without an indoor arena and so we’re excited by the thought of being able to bring some big names in entertainment to the region.”

Dave McGeachan, from Scottish promoter, DF Concerts, said: “These days it is rare that a capital city doesn’t have an arena, so this is a long awaited and positive addition to the Scottish entertainment market.”