Places St Margaret’s House Facilities Gallery Spaces Guide to Galleries

Gallery 1 | Photo copyright | Clark James Digital


Edinburgh Palette (registered charity) is a community of fine, applied and visual artists, working alongside charities, creative enterprises and small businesses. This community was steadily built in St Margaret’s House, a former office block disregarded by many for its “neo-brutalist” architecture.


Building, Events and Communications Staff:

Marcin Krupa – Duty Manager
0131 661 1924

Iain Sneddon – General Manager
0131 661 1924

Carly Fox – Communications

Opening Hours

St Margaret’s House is open Monday – Friday from 9am to 9pm, Saturday 9am – 6pm and Sunday 12pm – 5pm. There is always a member of the staff team on duty in the main office, located on the third floor, who is available to help you if have any enquiries or require any assistance.

At peak times, the Duty Manager may be required to attend another area of the building, in which case they will redirect calls to their mobile phone. Call the Duty Manager number on 0131 661 1924 and they will do their best to help you or offer advice.

Location and Parking

St Margaret’s House is located on the main London Road bus route. Please note, there is no car parking between 8am – 6pm Monday – Friday. All galleries are on the third floor.

Please note that St Margaret’s House’s only has provision for disabled and loading bay parking. If you need to unload heavy or large items for your exhibition, please arrive before 10am or after 5.30pm to be sure that you can park your car near the door. This means you can unload safely and cause the least disruption to the other building users. Always call the Main Office on 0131 661 1924 in advance of your arrival to book a loading space.

Gallery Layout

St Margaret's 2018 Galleries layout

Booking a Gallery

Please contact Marcin for any gallery queries. Gallery 3 is currently being used as a workshop space to comply with social distancing guidelines.

After confirmation from Marcin, you will need to give a deposit that will secure your booking:

  • Deposit for Gallery 1 – £100 
  • Deposit for Gallery 2 – £100 
  • Pop-up Studio Space – £0 (Resident’s only, on the basis the space is restored)

It is refundable, subject to the return of the gallery space in good order.

Prior to hanging the show, you will need to provide us with a Public Liability Insurance and completed Risk Assessment Form.

Hire Costs:

  • Gallery 1 – £150 per week
  • Gallery 2 – £100 per week
  • Pop-up Studio Space – £0 (Resident’s only, on the basis the space is restored)

The total hire fee shall be payable in full in advance of the lease commencement date.

We arrange bookings to open on a Friday evening. The exhibitions usually end on a Sunday but this can be earlier if necessary. All physical exhibitions are provisional bookings which may be subject to change as per the Scottish Government Guidelines. Social distancing measures must also be adhered to whilst in the gallery spaces. 

Organising your Exhibition

  • Exhibitions are normally programmed to preview on a Friday evening and run from the day after, closing on a Sunday.
  • Days of set-up will be from the Tuesday to the Friday prior to your booking (all bookings start on the Saturday).
  • Day of dismantle is on the Monday after the end of your show (all bookings end on the Sunday, unless otherwise arranged with Marcin).
  • Keys for the galleries are available from the Main Office, though please sign them out and return them after you finish each day. Alternatively, the Duty Manager can open up the Galleries for you.

We do not arrange vinyl lettering. This is something that gallery tenants must install themselves.
We recommend Noel, who is based in Leith and has years of experience with artists and arts institutions. Let him know the full title of your exhibition, your professional name, dates (if you wish) and font/size you’d prefer.

Noel Spencer | | 0131 554 5797

Fiona Hermse’s “Cloud” installation It Surrounds Me – Part II Gallery 2, St Margaret’s House, February 2015

Opening night

  • Opening night is on a Friday.
  • You can choose to organise a closing night as it can help promote your work.
  • Please note, these two events must end before 9pm.


At present, St Margaret’s House is unlicensed to sell drink or food. However, you can operate a BYOB policy or provide free refreshment to your guests and exhibition attendees.

Potential suppliers located near St Margaret’s House are:

  • Morrison’s – free glass hire, wine, beer, soft drinks, party supplies and snacks
  • Sainsbury’s – wine, beer, soft drinks, party supplies and snacks

Recycling and rubbish

Regulations came into effect on 1 January 2014, requiring every business/organisation operating in Scotland to separate plastic, metal, glass, paper and card for recycling or otherwise incur financial penalties. This also applies to gallery tenants. After your opening night, you must:

  • Separate recyclable and landfill waste and food waste. Dispose of accordingly.
  • Clear up any wine glasses, cutlery or crockery and wash them in the kitchen.
  • Sweep up any spillages or leftover food.
  • Switch off all lights in the space.

Notify the Duty Manager as soon as possible if you require help with any of these tasks.

Promotion and marketing

When you have decided on a title for and have realised (even if only roughly) the form of the exhibition, please let Marcin know by email ( It is recommended that you provide us with a short definition (two or three lines) as well as a longer version (two or three paragraphs).

When designing your poster, you are recommended to include the following (essential information in bold):

  • Exhibition title
  • Your professional name
  • Main dates (including preview night, if you wish)
  • Times it will be open
  • Gallery number
  • Address: Edinburgh Palette, St Margaret’s House, 151 London Road, Edinburgh, EH7 6AE
  • Add the Edinburgh Palette logo (Branding Guide found here)

Even if you have yet to make a poster, please send a few images of the work to Carly Fox (, as soon as possible, so that we have something to promote it with.

Once you have your exhibition posters in format A4 and A3, please send it in JPEG format to as soon as possible.

Within the building there is an in-house company that can design, reproduce and distribute your flyers and posters. Contact Out of Hand Scotland | 0131 661 8122 |

Promoting and marketing your exhibition outside of the building is your responsibility, however Edinburgh Palette helps you in a number of ways. We:

  • Insert your exhibition in the programme for the year
  • Post the information to the Edinburgh Palette mailing list and internal communications
  • We put it up on our own website and on all our social media platforms

Please contact the office for a list of organisations who can promote your exhibition externally.

When you are hanging your exhibition, you are also encouraged to put up your posters on the noticeboard and snap frames within St Margaret’s House in the run-up to your exhibition. This ensures the building’s tenants are aware of your upcoming exhibition. Please see Marcin about this beforehand.

Because of our location outside the city centre, it is advisable to give your exhibition an extra marketing ‘push’ to increase footfall. Artmag would like to draw your attention to the special advertising rates available to exhibitors. Contact Christie Dessy (Publisher) | 0131 661 0765 |

Please contact Carly or Marcin if you have any general questions about listings or promotions.

Detailed Specs

Gallery 1

Approx. floor space: 252m2

Individual wall spaces:
Width x Height (metres)
5.5 x 2.7
37 x 2.7 (excluding optional 5m wall panel)
4.8 x 2.7
32.5 x 2.7 (divided by door to Gallery 2)

Gallery 2

Approx. floor space: 96m2

Individual wall spaces:
Width x Height (metres)
18 x 2.7
3.8 x 2.7
17.8 x 2.7 (excluding optional 5m wall panel)
4.5 x 2.7

Gallery 3/Workshop Space

Approx. floor space: 59m2

Individual wall spaces:
Width x Height
11 x 2.7 (metres)
4.2 x 2.7
13.4 x 2.7
4.5 x 2.7

Hanging your exhibition

Gallery walls, fittings and fixtures

The walls are white matte to act as a neutral back drop and to act as a blank canvas on which you can set up your exhibition. You are therefore welcome to paint and hang your exhibition as you wish, remembering after your exhibition has finished to return it to the way it was before. It is the responsibility of the artist to restore the walls to their original colour.

With regards to screws and nails you are welcome to use what is needed to safely secure your work to the walls and ensure you exhibition sits as you want it to. The best way to fix labels about your work to the walls is to use wax dots, as these are much easier to remove than double-sided tape or Blu Tac, which can leave marks on the walls.

Additional items for use within your exhibition

Edinburgh Palette offer a series of plinths and mounts for your work. Marcin can provide you with the dimensions and number of plinths should you need them for any particular aspect of your work. They can be painted either white or black (we have paint in storage).

We can also provide you with a fridge, tables, furniture, or other items, should you need them for your opening events or any other part of you exhibit. Again, please contact Marcin for a list of what we can offer.

Tools for Hanging your Exhibition

Edinburgh Palette recommends you bring your own tools to hang your exhibition.

Please be reminded if you have specific requirements for you work to bring your own.

Additionally, there are a series of shopping and flatbed trolleys that you are welcome to use when moving items for your exhibition into the building.


With regards to your exhibition, you have two options:

  1. Not being present during the daily running of your exhibition; in which case your artwork will be on display and the doors opened by the Office staff – please note that this is an extra service, so we cannot accept liability if we have not had time to do so. We cannot guarantee security, as a member of stall will not be in situ, so please ensure you have appropriate insurance for your work in place.
  2. Being present during your exhibition. If this is the case, you can decide on your own opening hours and greet visitors yourself.

Whichever method you decide upon, or a combination of both, you must let Marcin and the Office staff know in advance. The Duty Managers cannot open your exhibition to the public without expressed consent. If your installation involves video media or special instructions, please also put those in writing to Marcin, so he can share it with the team.

Clean-up and restoring the galleries

You are reminded that as part of your hire of the gallery you are required to clean and empty the gallery the day after your exhibition ends (Monday), adhering to the following requirements:

  • The gallery has to be left as you found it, with all rubbish disposed and the floor cleaned.
  • If you do not meet your contracted obligation to clean the space, we unfortunately will not return your full deposit in order to cover the cost of returning the gallery space to the original condition.
  • Please ensure that the gallery is as you left it and in a suitable condition for the next exhibitor to use.

General information


Each gallery operates on a centrally-lighted system that runs through the main vestibule of the gallery spaces. The additional auxiliary lighting is operated manually. This requires you, or whomever is opening and closing down the gallery spaces, to use a lighting catch to individually turn on the lights. If you are unsure how to do this, please ask Marcin or one of the Office staff to help you.

Should you have any lights that are not working correctly at the time of your showing, please inform the Office staff. We’ll arrange for our electrician to fix them as soon as possible.


Please appreciate that due to the age of the building and its former life as an office block, the windows are old and at times difficult to open. If you need help ventilating the gallery, please ask the Duty Manager who will help you to open windows in the space. Please appreciate that the general dirt and wear and tear on the windows is due to its former life as a government office space and although the windows can be cleaned from the inside of the building, any damage to the outside is impossible to clean.

Disposal of Rubbish

If you think you will have a lot of waste during the preparation and take down of your exhibition, please ask the Main Office and they will provide you with binbags, etc. The Office also houses a vacuum, broom, dustpan and brush, mop and other cleaning materials, which you are invited to use when setting up and taking down your exhibition.

In compliance with Scottish law, Edinburgh Palette has recently implemented a low impact, low-waste solution to the building’s rubbish and recycling. You must separate your waste into the landfill and recycling bins, as directed on the signage.

If you have a large amount of rubbish, then please dispose of it in binbags in the general waste bins located within the car park. We encourage you to try and dispose of your waste into the appropriate recycling bins provided. You are also reminded that any waste that is left after your exhibition may result in a small deduction from your deposit for its disposal.


Please be aware that for the exhibition you will need to have public liability insurance. Please hand a copy either in PDF format to or in hard copy to the Main Office before the opening of your exhibition.

This means in the event of an accident, or damage to your work, you are covered. It also ensures any visiting members of the public are insured for any problem that might occur whilst visiting your exhibition. Relatively competitive short-term insurance can be provided by any insurance broker but we provide a few recommendations specifically for artists.

Recommended insurers who offer a discount to artists are:

The Artists’ Network
Low-cost insurance comes as standard with their membership | 0191 241 8000

Scottish Artist Union
Low-cost insurance and information for artists at work | 0141 559 4999

Optionally, you can also take out insurance to cover your work in case of damage and theft with Hencilla Canworth |

Health & Safety

You are required as part of your rental of the space from Edinburgh Palette, to fill out a risk assessment form for your exhibition detailing any potential hazards and the necessary precautions you have taken to ensure people who visit your exhibit are as safe as possible. A risk assessment form will be provided to you when you are given this pack for you to take away and sign. Please return a copy of it to the Office for our records.

With regards to other Health and Safety issues, there is a guide within the office to the proper use of ladders, drills and other hazardous equipment. You are advised to read this before you undertake any work in the lead up to your exhibition.

You are generally advised not to undertake any manual activity which you are unsure you can perform without injuring yourself or others. Please inform us if you need any assistance with your exhibit, or ensure you hire certified workmen to carry out any particularly heavy duty tasks involved with the set-up and take down of your exhibition.

Please be advised you are not allowed to bring any potentially hazardous materials, such as corrosive chemicals, gas canisters, naked flames and so on, into the building, or install them as part of your exhibition.

In case of fire

The fire emergency procedures are detailed on the inside of the door in each gallery, office or spaces, and also the floor escape routes.

  • On hearing the continuous ringing of the fire alarm bell stay calm, abandon what you are doing and evacuate the building by the nearest exit.
  • Close all windows and doors you pass.
  • Do not use the lifts, and go to the assembly area (either at the top of the steps to London Road or, in the carpark – the yellow No Parking grid) and await the fire officer’s instructions.