The Royal Highland Centre is Scotland's largest exhibition venue and showground. Located 8 miles (13 km) west of Edinburgh and set amongst 44.5 ha (110 acres) of parkland, it hosts everything from trade exhibitions to rock concerts. Owned by the Royal Highland Agricultural Society of Scotland, which was founded in 1784 and is headquartered at Ingliston House within the Centre, it is the venue for a number of large events throughout the year, including the annual Royal Highland Show. This show is held towards the end of June and acts as a shop-window for Scottish agricultural production and machinery, crafts, country pursuits and the largest exhibition of Scottish food and drink in the world. Earlier in the summer the Gardening Scotland show takes place here.
Ingliston Estate was acquired by the Society in 1958, as a permanent venue for the Highland Show, which had previously rotated between various towns and cities around the country. The Estate consisted of two farms together with Ingliston House (built in 1844). Subsequent development has given rise to a number of permanent exhibition halls, a golf centre and, for a time, Scotland's only motor-racing circuit, which opened in 1965 and was operational until 1992. Parts of the estate are used as agricultural test plots.
The largest venue on the site, the Highland Hall, can seat 10,000 for a conference and served as the National Counting Centre for the landmark referendum of 2014 which saw Scotland decide to remain part of the United Kingdom. The Lowland Hall has a capacity of over 5000, with the Central Hall between. The MacRobert Pavilion, next to Ingliston House, provides conference and banqueting space for up to 500 people. The Royal Highland Centre also includes a hotel, offices of various agricultural charities, and parts are rented to various other business activities, for example a motor auction company. For a time the 'Cars of the Stars' Motor Museum was based here.