Choosing A Site

In the White Paper ‘Scotland’s Parliament’, published in July 1997, the Secretary of State for Scotland, Donald Dewar, committed that the Parliament would meet in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city.

3 sites shortlisted

Initially, three sites were shortlisted as potential locations for the new Scottish Parliament. Each site was studied by a different architectural practice to determine its feasibility of the sites to meet the accommodation requirements of the Parliament. These sites were:

  • St Andrew's House (feasibility study carried out by Page & Park)
  • Haymarket (feasibility study carried out by RMJM)
  • Leith Docks, next to the Scottish Executive building Victoria Quay (feasibility study carried out by Benson & Forsyth)

Holyrood added to shortlist

Holyrood was a late entry into the site selection process. Originally, it had been included in the long list of potential sites but was not shortlisted as it was not available in the required timescale. However, dialogue with Scottish and Newcastle continued and they offered the site in December 1997, indicating that they would be able to vacate it by early 1999. The Secretary of State for Scotland, Donald Dewar, acknowledged that the site merited consideration and RMJM were asked to carry out the feasibility study of the Holyrood site.

Feasibility studies and material prepared by the various architectural practices were put on public display in Edinburgh and Glasgow during December 1997 and January 1998.