Statement on the future of the Bongo Club

Official University statement regarding the lease agreement with the Bongo Club.

We regret having to bring to a close our very productive and enjoyable relationship with the Bongo Club.

The Moray House premises will become the new home for the University's Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL). The OLL offers the local community an extensive range of daytime and evening classes plus summer schools for around 15,000 people each year.

The move has been dictated by the expiry of a lease on premises used by part of the OLL and the pressing need to bring together its separate sections. We therefore need a new central location for the OLL to deliver our academic strategy, one that is suitable for our students and has improved accessibility for people with mobility requirements.

The location within the Moray House campus is the most appropriate solution for OLL. There is very little unoccupied space within the University’s estate. An ongoing refurbishment and redevelopment programme in some of our buildings limits space further.

Formal notice was given to the Bongo Club in November 2011, asking the club to vacate the premises by September 2012. This timetable was designed to allow the club to complete its Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme.

In asking the Bongo Club to vacate the premises we have acted within the terms of our contract and in fact have given four months more notice than contractually obliged, so as to aid the Bongo Club in its search for a new home.

We do, of course, appreciate the importance to Edinburgh, and not least to our own students, of a vibrant and diverse cultural scene to which the Bongo Club contributes. To this end we met with the Bongo Club in December 2011 to discuss the club’s next move. We have investigated whether there is a suitable alternative building within our estate to host the Bongo Club, but were unsuccessful.

As the situation moves forward, we will provide the Bongo Club with all the appropriate help we can in its relocation. We wish the Bongo Club all the best for the future.