The Scotland-Russia Institute in South College Street, Edinburgh 2008-12 Exterior and Gallery, by Peter France
The Scotland-Russia Forum was established in 2003 to promote understanding and to encourage contact between the peoples of Scotland, Russia and its neighbouring countries. We aimed to encourage understanding of the language, culture and commercial activities of those countries by means of lectures, entertainments, exhibitions, publications, conferences, meetings, research and other activities. Our plan was that the Scotland-Russia Institute would underpin these aims and in particular help the Forum to support and welcome residents of Scotland and visitors from Russia and its neighbours, with educational, social and information services. Our predecessors, the GB-USSR Association and the Britain-Russia Centre, had the use of a meeting room and other British Council facilities in Bruntsfield as well as some official financial support. The Scotland-Russia Forum however had always been an entirely independent and voluntary organisation, its only income members’ subscriptions, fees from events and occasional small donations for specific purposes. Until 2008 our committee and officers administered the Forum from their homes and meetings were held wherever we could find, and usually hire, suitable premises. We therefore sought to find a proper home for the convenience of members, to enable us to develop our activities, to provide a public focus for interest in Russian affairs, and to enable us to administer the Forum more effectively. In 2008 we received a generous donation from Scottish & Newcastle plc enabling us to rent premises for the establishment of a Russian culture centre, to be called the Scotland-Russia Institute. In June 2008 we rented 9 South College Street, Edinburgh EH8 9AA and began renovation, much of the work being done by SRF volunteers. A generous grant from the Lottery's Awards for All fund enabled us to furnish and equip the new Institute, and we also received many donations from members and wellwishers of money, equipment, books for our new library and other items. The Scotland-Russia Institute was formally opened on Wednesday 17 September by Roy Cross, Director of British Council Scotland. Other speakers were: - the chairperson of SRF, Jenny Carr, who welcomed guests and thanked S&N plc and Awards for All for the generous financial donations which enabled the rental and equipping of the Institute, and other individual donors and volunteers - the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Rt. Hon. George Grubb - the Consul General of the Russian Federation, Mr Vladimir Malygin A pupil of the Russian Edinburgh school concluded proceedings with a beautiful recital of Russian songs.
the Scotland-Russia Institute 2008-12
The Scotland-Russia Institute in Edinburgh's South College Street was a culture centre run by the Scotland-Russia Forum 2008-12 offering information and promoting understanding about Russia and her neighbours. Activities included talks, exhibitions, social meetings, language classes, a lending library and a shop. We had over 3000 visitors annually. The Institute closed in January 2013 and the the SRF moved later that year to an office in the Edinburgh arts centre Summerhall.
The Scotland-Russia Institute - front room, downstairs library and shop
exhibitions at the Scotland-Russia Institute
The Scotland-Russia Forum had its own Gallery 2008-12. A full list of our past exhibitions may be found in the Archive.