Robert McDowell, Patron, Summerhall

The Southside was a place I didn’t really know very well until I bought the old Royal Dick Veterinary 
College and turned it into Summer-hall, and we’re part of the Southside.  Well I’ve had the idea for forty 
years, but this was the first time 
I really found a building that was perfect to create a multi-arts 
cultural centre dedicated to arts, research and education.


We are in an old university building and it still has the atmosphere 
and the aesthetics of that.  It’s working brilliantly because we have more room than we need and 
that invites all kinds of creative thinking and creative ideas.


Edinburgh is the second city of culture in the UK, one of the great capitals in Europe – very rare for spaces like this to become available.  It’s not about making money, it’s about communicating with people, it’s about a dialogue, it’s about 
being able to perform and talk and paint and illustrate and… about 
big questions.  In my opinion I’d like to think of the arts as being at 
the intellectual heart of society.