The Scottish National Gallery Project

Our ambitious plans to create an internationally significant new setting for the world’s greatest collection of Scottish art have been revealed, and construction work on our exciting transformation of the Scottish National Gallery is already underway.

This major project will completely transform the way Scottish art is shown at the Gallery. The scheme will create a new suite of exhibition spaces that will be directly accessible from the adjoining Princes Street Gardens, and provide a light-filled, new home for our unrivalled collection of Scottish art, raising its profile for visitors from all over the world.

The vision for the project has been driven by the National Galleries’ ambition to ensure that the widest number of people can enjoy our art and activities. The displays in the new galleries will be directly informed by extensive research into the needs of existing and potential audiences, driven by what people want to see and how they want to discover it.

For the first time in thirty years, there will be new displays drawn from the Scottish and international collection on show throughout the entire Gallery. This fresh approach will allow us to tell much richer stories about Scotland’s art, reflecting the international significance of pioneering figures such as Allan Ramsay, Gavin Hamilton and Sir David Wilkie.


The scope of the new displays will also be broader, encompassing the work of early twentieth century artists such as Cecile Walton, Anne Redpath, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Stanley Cursiter and the Scottish Colourists S J Peploe and F C B Cadell.

The Scottish National Gallery will be open as usual throughout construction. Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance.

The first phase of the Scottish National Gallery Project was completed successfully in 2019. This included a new entrance area in East Princes Street Gardens, a new café, refurbished restaurant and shop, an extensive sandstone terrace, and new landscaping and paths to improve access to the gardens and the Galleries.

Our Princes St Gardens entrance will become the main point of entry to the Gallery, giving instant access to the Scottish collection and much easier routes to the rest of the building as a whole. The project will create a beautiful new space in the heart of Edinburgh, which will be free for everyone to use and enjoy. A series of large windows, running the length of the gardens-level façade, will fill the galleries with light and colour, and offer spectacular views over one of the most celebrated cityscapes in the world. Extensive new landscaping in the gardens will radically improve access to this much-loved part of the city, and our new buggy park will also make it easier for families to enjoy everything the Gallery has to offer.

The project has been supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Scottish Government.

Celebrating Scotland's art

Celebrating Scotland's art

While construction work is ongoing at the Scottish National Gallery we have been busy delivering a full programme of activities, inviting people to discover and connect with historic Scottish art. 

Learn more about this exciting work and access a range of material that you can use to explore the Scottish art collection for yourself.

Conservation live

Conservation live

Follow the conservation processes involved in preparing 'Christ Teacheth Humility' for display at the Scottish National Gallery.

News and updates

News and updates

We will post regular updates about the project milestones below.

Project set for Summer 2023 completion

The project has passed a series of crucial milestones and the main construction work is on track to complete this winter. 

Revised completion date for the Project

An update on the revised completion date for the Scottish National Gallery Project.

The Gardens Entrance is now open!

The redevelopment has reached another exciting milestone with the re-opening of the East Princes Street Gardens Entrance and refurbished shop.

Accessible path in East Princes Street Gardens is now open

We’ve completed one of the first milestones of our ambitious project

Five reasons why we are redeveloping the Scottish National Gallery

A handy reminder of the reasons for our ambitious project to celebrate Scotland's art.

April update on Scottish National Gallery project

East Princes Street Gardens are scheduled to re-open to the public in time for the start of the 2019 Festival in August.



Supported by

  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Scottish Government