Aberdeen Performing Arts have announced that The Lemon Tree, Aberdeen’s iconic live venue, is set to get a striking refresh. They’ve moved the project on to the next stage after approving a new outline scheme. They will now also begin a fundraising campaign.

They have planned a new studio, foyer, café, meeting room, and an accessible entrance on Shoe Lane. There is also a proposal to create a new outdoor seating and performance area within an urban cottage garden. Although Lemon Tree Lounge and Lemon Tree Studio will continue to exist, the team will work to improve improve staging, sight-lines, technical facilities, and accessibility.


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Radiohead, Snow Patrol, Travis, Texas, Mogwai, Public Service Broadcasting and also Emeli Sandé have performed at the iconic city venue. In addition, the Lemon Tree is an essential stop on the performing arts tour circuit.

The board unanimously adopted the proposed scheme and agreed to move to the next stage of design development. They will also submit an application for planning consent by year’s end. Previously Aberdeen Performing Arts commissioned architects to undertake a study to look at options for upgrading the venue.

Discovering tomorrow’s legends today

Jane Spiers Aberdeen Performing Arts Chief Executive said: “2022 is the 30th anniversary of the Lemon Tree. In that time, it has built up an enviable reputation nationally and internationally for discovering tomorrow’s legends today and supporting homegrown talent.

“The plans retain the informal, friendly, intimate, off-beat style and story that is so unique to the Lemon Tree and are focussed on creating a more accessible, integrated environment and experience for audiences, artists and employees alike.”

The plans for the Lemon Tree also align with Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to regenerate the city centre. A new culturally-integrated development at Queen Street will also hopefully bring tangible benefits to the local economy and community.

Shape the next chapters of Aberdeen’s story

Culture Aberdeen, a partnership of cultural organisations in the city, have welcomed the proposals. Dr Duncan Cockburn from Culture Aberdeen was clear about the benefits of expanding the Lemon Tree. He told us, “This development has the potential to be a distinctive feature of the Aberdeen economic development story”

He also added that it was a great opportunity for arts and culture, artists and creative practitioners to help shape and drive the next chapters of Aberdeen’s story.

Richard Murphy Architects have been working on the project. They have undertaken several transformational arts and cultural projects. Past work includes the Stirling Tolbooth, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre Peebles. Furthermore, they have worked on Perth Theatre and the New National Centre for Music in Edinburgh.

Aberdeen Performing Arts chair Craig Pike told us, “The Lemon Tree has a special place in Aberdeen’s story and we are now setting the stage for a bright future which will benefit communities, business and the cultural sector in the city. Aberdeen Performing Arts has also pledged to get the fundraising campaign underway, we hope everyone will join us on the journey and get behind this exciting project for the city and nation.”


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Kevin Mitchell and Chris Sansbury founded POST from a desire to cut through the noise to share the great things that happen in Aberdeen. They focus on community, culture and the interesting people of the city. The local artists, businesses and charities; photographers, musicians and entertainers. These are the people that make a positive impact on our city every day. So they use video, audio, writing and social media to amplify the voices in our community and ultimately give a platform to Aberdeen folk to engage and tell their own stories.

Recent work includes coverage of Spectra 2022, interviews with We Are Here Scotland founder Ica Headlam; Paralympic gold medalist, Neil Fachie; Aberdeen rapper Chef and his push for success; an article by film director Mark Stirton about the state of high-rise buildings in the city; coverage of Nuart Aberdeen 2022 and TEDx Aberdeen, as well as coverage of British Art Show 9.

A great way to catch up with our work is by reading our 2021 Year in Review.