About Lothian Leuisure



With offices in Edinburgh and Leeds, Lothian Leisure Development Ltd (LLD) is a sports, leisure and entertainment venue consultancy delivering turnkey solutions across the globe.

We believe functionality, cost-effectiveness and world-class architecture go hand-in-hand. The deep understanding we have of structures for sports, leisure and entertainment is rooted in decades of design experience – and how to use these buildings in an effective and highly commercial way.

We understand the financial challenges of sports, entertainment and leisure developments and are experts at designing wholly viable schemes without the need for public subsidy.


Lothian Leisure Development (LLD) brings together
the passion, expertise and ambition of:

Nick Brown
Director of
Design &

Formerly at international architects, AHR Global, Nick has a wide range of experience in large public and private sector projects around the UK. Nick is Managing Director of Nick Brown Architects and co-founder of Citylife Developments – the latter having a portfolio of £120 million in gross development value. Nick has invested significant time in developing the design principles required to create and deliver a highly-efficient, hugely successful and visually arresting state-of-the-art arena.

Dave Fowler
Director of
& Marketing

Dave has 25 years’ music and entertainment experience with companies including Walt Disney, Sky, Universal, Ministry of Sound, Creative Entertainment and Capital Artists. Responsible for major concerts by artists including George Michael, Beyoncé, José Carreras, Razorlight, Pussycat Dolls, Kylie, Glasvegas and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dave has consulted for EMI, Creative Entertainment, the London 2012 Chinese Olympic Delegation, the Fortdance and Tomorrowland festivals, Strategic Asia and Blanco y Negro Music. Dave also assisted McKinsey Futurists for Dubai Expo 2020.

Tom Ponton

Tom is a well-established Edinburgh entrepreneur with a track-record of success in many sectors including planning, development and hospitality and leisure. Serving as an elected politician in the Lothian Region, Edinburgh District Council and Edinburgh City Council between 1985 and 2008, Tom has considerable experience in local authority planning and development. He is a passionate advocate of the Edinburgh International Arena development and is the current Deputy Lieutenant of Edinburgh.


LLD has assembled a world-class team of
development, construction and design partners:

Venue operator
NEC Group

Project manager & cost consultant
Turner & Townsend

Structural engineers
Buro Happold

Acoustic design and MEP services
Hoare Lee

Landscape architects

Planning consultant

Press & media
Perceptive Communicators


Put simply, Midlothian is ‘a great place to grow’.

Midlothian Council puts its citizens at the heart of all it does. Working with community planning partners, the Council focuses on reducing the gap in economic circumstances, reducing the gap in learning outcomes and reducing the gap in health outcomes.

Midlothian supports communities to grow, prosper and build success for the future. According to the Registers of Scotland, Midlothian has the fastest growing population of any region – predicted to increase between now and 2039 by 26%. People are moving to the area to live in new housing, learn at schools, take advantage of job opportunities and enjoy excellent transport links including the new Borders Railway.



Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland, the heart of an economically powerful region, and home to 513,000 people. Approximately 2.8 million people reside within a 60-minute drive of the city and it is the only major European capital currently without a purpose-built indoor arena.

The city is the UK’s most visited outside London. It is home to the Scottish Parliament, the Scottish legal system, and is the UK’s second largest centre for financial and pharmaceutical businesses.

In 2016, there were 15.6 million visitor nights in the Edinburgh and Lothian region, bringing £1.5 billion in expenditure. The world-famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe alone brings in the region of 3 million visitors, powering an associated festival economy currently valued at £313 million and rising.

The city boasts more FTSE 100 companies than any UK city outside London. With a number of high-performing sectors, from tech to financial services, Edinburgh is the 27th most popular conference destination in the world.

The city is home to a student population of 150,000 across no fewer than six universities and other colleges, benefiting from excellent talent retention. Nearly 50% of Edinburgh’s workforce is employed in high value ‘knowledge’ jobs and over 44% of its working population holds a degree or equivalent qualification.

Edinburgh to London by train is a four-hour journey and there are direct connections to 157 destinations served by 38 airlines flying from Edinburgh International Airport. With Michelin-starred restaurants rivalling many of its UK counterparts, Edinburgh has also been voted Favourite UK City by Conde Nast readers.

And all of this without a purpose-built indoor arena for live events…

Edinburgh Investment Guide
& Edinburgh by Numbers 2018