Work to start on £12.5 million St Andrews music centre

Work is set to start on the �12.5 million music centre. Pic: Alan Richardson.
Work is set to start on the �12.5 million music centre. Pic: Alan Richardson.

Construction is set to begin on the University of St Andrews’ new £12.5 million music centre, following a ground-breaking ceremony this week.

The Laidlaw Music Centre will include a performance venue, high-tech recording facility, rehearsal space, and more.

It is hoped that the centre can act as the central point of a new ‘cultural quarter’ in the town, bringing together local arts groups and forming links with surrounding cultural hubs such as the Byre Theatre.

The university has funded the project with philanthropic support from donors including the McPherson Trust, Sir Ewan and Lady Brown, and Lord Laidlaw.

At the ground-breaking ceremony it was announced that the new building will be named the Laidlaw Music Centre in recognition of the £4 million donation which turned vision into development.

The university’s director of music, Michael Downes, said: “The Laidlaw Music Centre will allow us to share our music facilities and expertise with our local, community as well as providing a much better place for our talented students to learn and develop. It will also complement the town’s arts facilities, including the Byre Theatre.”

Master of the United College, Professor Garry Taylor, added:“Music has the power to inspire, brighten and strengthen communities.

“The Laidlaw Music Centre will be a bold statement of confidence in the creative life of Fife.

“Students and community musicians, choristers and music-lovers alike will benefit from one of the finest chamber recital rooms in the country, attracting professional performances, promoting access to tuition, and encouraging the study of music as part of the undergraduate degree programme.”

The development forms part of the legacy of the university’s 600th anniversary fundraising campaign, which reached its £100 million total last month.

The centre, designed by architects Flanagan Lawrence, is being built on a site on Queens Terrace.