Edinburgh is the last European capital and major UK city without a large capacity, purpose-built indoor arena.

After several years searching for a viable solution, LLD is proud to be working with Midlothian Council to provide the area with the modern indoor arena it deserves.

The development will be situated close to Edinburgh city centre at West Straiton. As well as an 8000-capacity indoor arena, it will offer conference, retail and leisure space including a cinema and two hotels.

Construction is expected to begin in 2022, with plans to open Edinburgh International Arena to the public in 2023/24.




LLD has secured a 30-acre site at West Straiton, adjacent to the City of Edinburgh Bypass. The site will host the indoor arena, as well as an array of retail and leisure facilities for the Lothian region.

Just 5 miles away from the centre of Edinburgh, the site is perfectly-located to provide easy access for locals and people visiting the area from further afield. It benefits from strong infrastructure links to Edinburgh city centre, the wider region and the rest of the world – with Edinburgh International Airport just 10 miles away.

The City of Edinburgh Bypass connects all major roads with the motorway network approaching or exiting Edinburgh. Ample parking facilities at West Straiton will help avoid potential congestion issues for the historic city centre. A regular bus service (every 10 minutes) will be available for those travelling from Edinburgh city centre.


Edinburgh residents have the highest average disposable income amongst the 8 largest UK cities excluding London; Edinburgh also has the highest GVA per capita of any UK city outside of England’s capital.

There are nearly 1 million people within a 30-minute drive time catchment of our site and approximately 2.8 million people within 60 minutes. This catchment contains a substantially higher than average proportion of residents aged 20-29 and 30-39, 41% more people in socio-economic category AB and 20% more people in category C1 than the Scottish average.

The student population of Edinburgh and Herriot Watt universities alone is 35,000, representing another strong local audience for live music concerts.

The Young Edinburgh Viewfinder 3 study conducted by Ipsos MORI and the City of Edinburgh’s youth services found that a large number of young people wanted more opportunity to do certain activities – of which going to see live music (21%) was the equal-second most common wish.




Based on other arena schemes, is is estimated that Edinburgh International Arena will create an annual £30m–£35m GVA impact to the region.

The development will create substantial job opportunities for the local area, including permanent posts based at the venue, full-time-equivalent casual event staff and indirect employment supported by off-site visitor expenditure.


Both LLD and NEC Group – which has decades of experience in delivering positive community impact in the West Midlands – take the responsibility we have to local communities very seriously.

Working closely with our partners, LLD will foster relationships with community groups to develop locally-tailored content and maximise their use of the venue. To this end, we will look to provide work experience, apprenticeships and bespoke training opportunities with colleges and universities in the area, helping to develop the next generation of talent in the live events sector and maximise the social regeneration impact of our venue.