The Cultural Quarter Project

In the West End of Edinburgh four venues have joined together to promote the area that has become known as Edinburgh’s Cultural Quarter. The Lyceum Theatre, the Usher Hall, the Traverse Theatre and the Filmhouse offer a varied programme of culture throughout the year and are host venues to three of Edinburgh’s main Festivals.

The Lyceum Theatre is Edinburgh’s busiest producing theatre. The Royal Lyceum Theatre Company was formed in 1965 and each year curates a programme of classic and contemporary work which is created, built and staged within the beautiful Victorian building on Grindlay St.

Next door is the Usher Hall, one of the most outstanding concert halls in the world, with renowned acoustics, built in 1896. It is the city’s key venue for the Scottish national orchestras, visiting international orchestras and the main concert venue for Edinburgh International Festival. It is also now a recognised venue for rock and pop concerts. Owned by The City of Edinburgh Council, a major refurbishment was completed in February 2010 to include a stunning new glass and steel wing that acts as an impressive welcome and entrance area for customers. As a link from old to new, an architectural award-winning helical staircase was installed to link the ground floor with the other levels and circles. The venue was also recently awarded a prestigious five-star rating by Visit Scotland.

The newcomer to the block, the Traverse, was founded in 1963, although only moved to its current premises next to the Usher Hall in 1992. It is the leading producer of new plays and presents the best work from Scotland, the UK and beyond. The Traverse is a pivotal arts venue in Edinburgh, which nurtures and commissions new writers and runs education projects with the wider community.

The fourth member of the Cultural Quarter is the Filmhouse on Lothian Road. In 1979 an old boarded up church became the home of a new venue in cultural cinema. Now the Filmhouse presents a more varied programme than any other cinema in the city with 3 screens showing the latest international releases, world cinema, 16mm, digital and video work. Since its inception the Filmhouse has been the home of the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Working with digital agency tictoc, this funding will help them achieve the aim of cross promoting their work, across 5 different artforms; theatre, film, dance, music and comedy. They aim to reach the diverse audiences of all four venues and also new younger audiences who have not ventured into the venues, and who make up a large proportion of Festival audiences, but aren’t so visible through the rest of the year.

The collaborative project will promote the varied cultural programme that is available all year in the heart of the west end of the city. It will offer incentives and recommendations and the opportunity to engage with the CQ venues and peers directly through social media as a key part of the project. We aim to harness changing behaviours in booking patterns – supporting more flexible booking and meeting the expectations of mobile and online platforms.