Fringe exhibition to mark completion of Parliament House redevelopment

Scotland's historic Parliament Hall is to become a fringe venue for the first time ever this summer when it hosts an exhibition commemorating a five-year redevelopment project.

The exhibition was launched today (23 June) by the Lord President, the Rt. Hon. Lord Gill, Chairman of the Scottish Court Service (SCS), when he unveiled a plaque commemorating the completion of the £58 million redevelopment project to restore Parliament House and equip it with the infrastructure to support our modern courts. 

Work on the historic building, which houses the Court of Session and the High Court of Judiciary, began in 2008 and was completed last year on time and on budget. 

Lord Gill said: “Behind the façade of Parliament House is a collection of buildings ranging over seven floors and containing more than 700 rooms. The oldest building, Parliament Hall, is nearly 400 years old, and it is vitally important that this building is properly maintained for future generations.

“I wish to thank the many individuals and teams who were involved in this project. This work was carried out while the business of the courts continued, and its success has been achieved by effective planning and co-operation.” 

Speeches were also delivered by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Kenny MacAskill MSP, Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland, QC, and the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, James Wolffe, QC. 

SCS Chief Executive Eric McQueen said: “The SCS is responsible for preserving this 17th century building which is in a world heritage site and the work involved was a significant challenge. The success of the project, delivered on time and on budget, has resulted in the improvement of facilities and access for all court users, including victims and witnesses. 

“The traditional courtrooms have been fully preserved while at the same time adapted to enable the presentation of evidence, productions and documents, electronically and remotely, from any part of the world. This is part of our ambition to put digital innovation at the heart of our Service.” 

The project involved the renewal of all mechanical, electrical and information technology installations, fire safety measures, the introduction of energy efficiency schemes and the improvement of environmental controls. 

The exhibition - 'Parliament House, The Hidden Gem' - will feature from 28 July to 29 August as venue 402 for the Edinburgh Fringe. The exhibition, which provides a glimpse into the history, traditions and purpose of the Supreme Courts building, will be open Monday to Friday  10:30-1600, and was sponsored by Currie and Brown, Asset Management and Construction Consultancy (project managers) and Interserve Construction (principal contractors).