Earlier this week we shared the updated plans for the New Filmhouse, and let you know that the Planning Application had been submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council. It is now live to view on the Planning Portal.

Public are able to submit comments on the proposals until 1 February 2021. 

Click here to find out how to submit a comment.

The New Filmhouse will be a world-class centre for film designed by Richard Murphy Architects and will create a landmark home for Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival. It will be a localnational and international hub for community engagement and learning, talent and skills development, film programming and audience engagement, innovation and enterprise, and networking which will benefit both the city’s residents and Scotland’s film industry. 

The design of the New Filmhouse has evolved following the extensive consultation process, resulting in a reduction in the height, improved access arrangements within the building and more detailed proposals for the successful management of Festival Square as a public space.

The new building will be the catalyst that animates the underutilised public space in Festival Square and creates a vibrant and dynamic cultural hub, internationally significant in reputation and reach, whilst being primarily for the people of Edinburgh.  

The New Filmhouse will retain the independence of spirit, identity and programming of the existing Filmhouse but deliver it in state-of-the-art cinemas, learning suites, an inspiring event and meeting space in the heart of the building, vital project, meeting and work space, an expanded café bar, a separate restaurant, and a programmable rooftop terrace and public viewpoint.

Ken Hay, CEO of Centre for the Moving Image (inc Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival) said:

“We want the New Filmhouse to be the catalyst that transforms Festival Square so that it becomes a used and exciting public space. This new building itself will generate a lot of life in the Square, and we will design the Square to be welcoming and work collaboratively with our neighbours, the City Council and key cultural partners in managing the use of the Square for the benefit of the people of Edinburgh. 

“As a cultural charity with a strong commitment to the social impact of its work we believe Filmhouse will be a great caretaker of what could become a much more inviting and valued public space. And our commitment to environmental sustainability means that the building will operate on a net zero carbon basis from its first day of opening.” 

Sandy Begbie CBE, Chair of Centre for the Moving Image (inc Filmhouse and Edinburgh International Film Festival) added:

“We believe in the power of film to transform lives – whether watching, making or learning about film. We want the New Filmhouse to be a vibrant and exciting community of film for the people of Edinburgh and Scotland, a place for anyone who loves film to come together in the one space.  We want our new home to be inspiring and fully accessible for everyone – physically and emotionally – so whoever you are and wherever you’re from you’ll be welcome and able to access and participate in all that we do.

“Edinburgh is home to internationally recognised landmark museums, galleries, concert halls and theatres – each celebrations of their respective artforms. The New Filmhouse will be a fitting addition to these – a celebration of film, the most popular artform of the 20th and 21st centuries.” 

Today Irvine Welsh, the acclaimed writer of novels and screenplays added his support to the campaign to see the visionary new building realised, saying:

“Edinburgh can’t remain bereft of cultural ambition. A custom built Filmhouse would put the city on a par with some of the great cinema capitals of the world. It would be a marvellous resource for our community and provide a fitting home for the world’s oldest international film festival. Why settle for being an also ran when you can be one of the very best?” 

A positive outcome will not only help secure the future of the Filmhouse given the urgent need for a new home, but will also considerably increase the charity’s future impact with more than 800,000 individual visits per year, and 200 partners and organisations predicted to directly benefit from the programme of films, learning, community engagement, skills and talent development. It will also transform Festival Square from an unused space into an active, sociable outdoor destination and focus for Edinburgh’s cultural quarter.

If you would like to help make all this possible, please show your support by submitting a comment to the Council today. Visit this page to find out how.