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Usher Hall to close doors for renovation

Oct. 12, 2006 at 4:27 PM

EDINBURGH, Scotland, Oct. 12 (UPI) -- Usher Hall, the flagship concert hall in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh is to undergo a year-long renovation following next year's International Festival.

Despite an estimated cost of more than $35 million, the renovation proposal for the music locale in expected to be approved by area officials later this month, and work is tentatively scheduled to begin next April, the Scotsman reported.

"Although it was our original intention (to remain open), we believe that may see the cost go up by a further 1 million pounds ($1.85 million) and there is no guarantee it would not be more than that," Usher House general manager Karl Chapman said. "We would also have had to reduce the capacity to as little as 950 for some concerts during the period when we remained open and we have found that the contractors were unwilling to take on work on the basis that the Hall was to remain open."

The Scotsman said to date the proposed project has seen its share of delays and has yet to lock up the needed contractors to complete the work due to its expansive nature and other major developmental projects throughout Edinburgh.

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