Royal College of Surgeons Proves Fluent in the Language of Events

by Vickie Henry

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Image of interiorThe Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh is behind ambitious plans to open its fourth conference and events venue at its South Side home.

It is undertaking the £1.5 million revamp of a former Edinburgh University language school building, transforming it into three floors of event space, for hosting everything from birthday parties and weddings to medical conferences.

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh Commercial Enterprises specialises in making the most of the institution’s impressive buildings, with all the profits being invested back into running the globally-respected organisation, which delivers life-changing skills to every corner of the world.

Scott Mitchell, Commercial Director, said: “The European Language School, tucked away on a quiet side street, is being completely transformed.

“While the frontage on Hill Place will be enhanced, the real changes will be on the inside and we expect this to become one of the best known venues in Edinburgh, whether for birthday parties, weddings or business conferences.

“The building will actually be accessed from our famous pillared entrance opposite the Festival Theatre, through our private gardens into a lobby area with cloakroom.

“Inside we’ll have three floors of purpose-built space to suit everything from exhibitions and ceilidhs to small scale boardroom meetings or a theatre-style auditorium for up to 160 people.

“It will be a hugely versatile space and will sit perfectly between our other venues – the historic grandeur of the Playfair Hall and the glass and chrome modernism of our Quincentenary Conference Hall.

“When it opens it will help cement our growing reputation, built up over the past eight years, for superb venues for the people of Edinburgh, for Scottish businesses and for overseas visitors. It will really help put us on the map with major event booking specialists, both nationally and internationally.

“That’s great news for the local restaurants, shops and businesses on the South Side, as many of our guests will be staying in our Hotel.  We are understandably excited at the prospect of opening in May.”

The Royal College is one of the most august institutions in Scotland as well as one of the oldest medical incorporations in the world, with a history stretching back more than 500 years.

It provides education and assessment for medical students, surgical trainees and consultants and supports research to advance standards of care for the future.  Surgeons trained and assessed through the College take their life-saving and life-changing skills all over the world.

It is best known for its magnificent Playfair Building, dating back to 1832, with historic rooms ideal for Entrance from Gardensmeetings, private dining and gala dinners.  It is also home to the famous Surgeons’ Hall Museum, which house collections of international importance.

The Museum is currently being renovated with a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.  It will re-open in the autumn and will be available for private tours for events held in the College.

In stark architectural contrast, the Quincentenary Building – created to mark the college’s 500th anniversary in 2005 – is a purpose-built conference centre for up to 300 delegates and even boasts a sprung dance floor making it ideal for dinner dances. It is also a popular Festival Fringe venue.

Another event space is the neighbouring King Khalid Building, formerly St Michael’s Church, which has been transformed into an outstanding 158-seated auditorium with catering space, ideal for lectures, product launches and conferences.

The college’s Commercial Enterprises promotes, sells and manages all commercial activities held within the College Campus, which include the four-star 77-bedroom hotel, Ten Hill Place. All profits support the charitable aims of the College which are education, assessment and advancement in surgery.

Marketing Edinburgh, the organisation dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the world, is delighted that the College is adding to its events repertoire, helping build the Scottish capital’s reputation.

Lesley Williams head of Marketing Edinburgh’s business tourism team, said: “Our team spends all of its time and effort promoting Edinburgh as one of the finest cities anywhere for holding business events.

Surgeons’ Hall is already a major draw for visiting conferences from elsewhere in the UK and internationally. This new venue will be a brilliant addition to help bring valuable business tourism to the city.”


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Junior account executive at Scottish PR agency Holyrood PR

Private: Vickie Henry

Vickie Henry is a part of the expert PR team at the award-winning Holyrood PR, public relations agency in Edinburgh, Scotland.
The PR agency works with businesses across Scotland.
As well as providing media relations, crisis communications, Holyrood PR also offers PR photography, affordable video for businesses, social media services and strategic content delivery for businesses.

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