Plans unveiled to turn Glasgow's Rotunda into major entertainment venue 

Forrest Hotels revealed they will invest £15m to transform the building into a 'Nashwille-inspired' entertainment venue.

Plans unveiled to turn Glasgow’s North Rotunda building into major music venue Dirt Communications

Plans to transform Glasgow’s historic Rotunda into a “Nashville-inspired” world-class entertainment venue have been revealed – six months after it’s closure.

The Forrest Group, who own the award-winning Radisson Red hotel, confirmed the purchase of the North Rotunda in June 2023.

Following this, the Cranside Kitchen restaurant, which was operated by The Rotunda Group, closed suddenly in August – leading the entire building to close in September last year.

The Forrest Group will now invest £15m to convert it into a new event space.

Taking inspiration from Nashville’s world-renowned live music scene, the ground floor will be turned into the ‘The Roundhouse’, designed with “state-of-the-art” bespoke sound and lighting systems with live performance in mind.

The Roundhouse will feature a beer garden catering for more than 140 people.Dirt Comms via Supplied

The Roundhouse will feature a beer garden catering for more than 140 people and will be capable of hosting events for around 500 people.

Meanwhile the upper floors will be turned into ‘The Rotunda’, and will be intended for hosting weddings, conferences and events.

Keith Vallance from Forrest Hotels will oversee the development, and said that company directors spent a week in Nashville in September last year in an effort to get inspiration for the new venue.

He said: “Sadly the old building is in a sorry state, but we are prepared to invest heavily in order to restore this architectural gem, bringing a new generation through its doors. Our proposals will create 60 much needed new jobs for the city.

“The North Rotunda is a beautiful old building with some lovely features, either covered up completely or worse, rotting away.

“We want to restore it and we have worked hard to come up with a design which enhances and showcases those features.

The Rotunda will be intended for hosting weddings, conferences and events.Dirt Comms via Supplied

“We will retain the open plan round floors, allowing the unique design of the original building to take centre stage.

“We have carefully created a sympathetic external stairwell and extension to bring us into line with modern building regulations.

“We see the Rotunda as an important part of Glasgow’s heritage which we are keen to preserve and enhance, while creating a brand new venue to showcase the best of music and live events from Glasgow and beyond.

“We have taken inspiration from some of the world’s best music spaces, especially the vibrant Nashville scene.

“We are really excited to be restoring and relaunching an iconic location for the people of Glasgow, which will create many new jobs as well as complementing and supporting the businesses around the SEC Campus.”

There has already been strong support for the plans from both the SEC Campus – the North Rotunda building is an iconic part of the area’s famous skyline – and from Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

It is hoped the new venue will launch in early 2026. Dirt Comms via Supplied

Billy McFadyen, director of finance and development, SEC, said: “We very much welcome the Forrest Group proposals to enhance the North Rotunda and provide a much needed destination venue to the wider SEC Campus. The high-quality design creating flexible function and entertainment space will provide excellent facilities that will augment our world class campus.”

Glasgow chamber of commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick, said: “The North Rotunda is a prominent building that lends itself to being a standout destination in the city and we are pleased to see these carefully considered proposals come forward.

“The SEC Campus is just a stone’s throw away and as we know, this wider area has enormous potential for further regeneration and economic activity.

“This, coupled with the creation of much-needed new jobs, is why we must welcome investments that will further enhance our reputation as a leading city for events, entertainment and culture.”

The Roundhouse and Rotunda are expected to launch in early 2026, subject to planning consents and statutory approvals.

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