THE SNP have promised to pursue plans for a new 10,000-seat arena in Edinburgh if the party wins power in the council elections.

The party's local election manifesto vowed to address long-standing "gaps" in the capital's cultural infrastructure - and included plans to revamp the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens.

The SNP said it wanted people in Edinburgh to be able to see their favourite artists in their own city.

The plan would seek to reverse the decline of the historic Ross Bandstand.

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Reform has previously been floated as an idea, with a design proposed to replace the structure winning an international award.

The project later ran into trouble over concerns about its potential impact on existing gardens and how it would be operated.

The SNP's manifesto states that it will work with the Fringe and other festival organisers to expand Edinburgh's cultural offerings outside the Old Town in an effort to spread the "cultural benefits" to the more communities in the capital.

The SNP manifesto states: “We’re proud of Edinburgh’s status as the world’s festival city and all the benefits that brings.

"We have the highest participation in the arts of almost any community in the world. We’re proud of the diversity and multiculturalism our vibrant city contains.

“We’ll work with our world-famous summer festivals to ensure they emerge from the pandemic more sustainable and as vibrant as ever, while supporting and enabling the Fringe and other festivals out from the Old Town, spreading cultural benefits to more communities.

“Edinburgh has diverse and dynamic communities in all corners, not just in the city centre. We’ll promote and support community-led festivals and cultural events throughout the city by ringfencing funding and support for grassroots events.

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“We’ll engage with the creative and hospitality sectors to identify gaps in the types and sizes of venues our city currently has to offer, including assessing demand for a new 10,000 capacity venue, so that Edinburgh residents will be able to see their favourite bands and shows in their own city.

"Working with community groups, we’ll facilitate a plan, by local people and for local people, for the Ross Bandstand in Princes Street Gardens, publicly-owned and operated for public good.”

Scottish Labour's local election manifesto pledged to introduce a "presumption" against using public spaces and parks for commercial use "where there is not clear public support".

Meanwhile the Scottish Greens have vowed to bring in better regulations over such use of "landmark spaces" such as Princess Street Gardens, the Meadows and Inverleith Park.