The Assembly Rooms is lined up for a £10 million renovation that will see the entire building and its facilities upgraded and refurbished, including exterior improvements to both the George and Rose Street sides and the adjoining lanes by 2009.
Inside, flexible seating will be introduced to the Music Hall along with substantial acoustic work. The decorative finishes throughout will be restored and improved. The ground floor of the building will be returned to its original use, with three new shops and a fine-dining restaurant created in the Supper Room. Consultants and management are to review potential quality retailers that will be an appropriate fit with the building.
It is expected that the combination of retail, dining, event and performance spaces will attract visitors and patrons to the Assembly Rooms throughout the day.
The Music Hall in the restored Assembly Rooms will have a capacity of 750.
Here is a breakdown of the current venue capacity at Festival time:
- Music Hall 630 seats
- Sanctuary 455 seats plus 15 restricted view seats
- Ballroom 341 seats
- Edinburgh Suite 156 seats
- Supper Room 150 seats
- Wildman Room 122 seats
- Candlish Room 89 seats
- Drawing Room 96 seats
During the year its 3 main function rooms are hired out for a variety of events from ceilidhs to craft fairs, easy listening night club to dinner dance.
The Music Hall is the largest room at 571 square metres and features an elaborate domed ceiling lit by crystal chandelier.
The Ballroom East/West Drawing Rooms set under three crystal chandeliers reflects the full length mirror at either end of the Ballroom, dating from the 18th Century. A small stage can accommodate up to six people. At either end of the room is an ornate Drawing Room. Floor area: 358 square metres.
The Supper Room is the the smallest of the three function rooms is at 268 square metres, ornately decorated with crystal chandeliers, mirrored panels and parquet floor. The room is split-level with a marble bar counter on the upper area. Blackout is possible. During the festival it transforms into the performers' bar, also referred to as the "Star Bar."