French government opens a new cultural and diplomatic base in Edinburgh

Published: 30 November 2017

France has taken over one of the most prestigious buildings on the Royal Mile, the former chambers for Lothian regional council opposite St Giles Cathedral, as the new home for its consulate and its cultural institute.

The move comes after serious discussions over whether the consulate had a future at all, with some concerns over costs, and it is hoped that the new site will be more economically viable.

This is a once-in-a-century opportunity. We are investing. We want to be in Scotland. There is a partnership dimension and there will be a fundraising dimension too, to make it a first-class cultural venue.

Emmanuel Cocher, Consul General, French Government

 

From its then newly acquired consulate on Randolph Crescent in the New Town, the French were among the first foreign nations to support the Edinburgh international festival when it began in the aftermath of the second world war, in 1947, and have supported the festival every year since.

Dominating the busiest square in the Old Town, the new consulate is to house a language school, offices and rehearsal rooms for orchestras and arts organisations, a specialist library of French literature with 30,000 books, and a 100-seat concert venue...

Full story via the Guardian News

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