Bosses at the Scottish Parliament are looking for architects to design a multimillion pound upgrade of the building, it has been announced.
The proposals include an extended security and screening facility, expected to cover an area of 250 sq metres.
The work, which will replace the existing public entrance on Horse Wynd, opposite Holyrood Palace, is scheduled to be be completed within three years.
A Parliament spokeswoman said: “This is part of ongoing measures to enhance security at Holyrood as recommended by the CPNI (Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure).
‘These recommendations were endorsed by the Parliament’s security adviser and accepted by the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body.
‘The Parliament takes security matters extremely seriously and this work is for the greater protection of building users and the 300,000-plus public visitors, including a number of school children, we receive every year.
‘The initial phase involves securing a design for the facility. The SPCB will then consider the design and decide whether to proceed to the next phase, which would be the procurement of tenders for construction.
‘Once approved, full costs will, as always, be published on our website.’
He added that any new design would ‘respect the architectural significance of the building and surrounding area’.
The plans emerged as work continues on other measures around the building, including bollards and concrete benches, which have so far cost about £2M.
Additional features at the complex, which was opened in 2004 at a cost of about £430M, have already been built or are under construction. Spending has so far included £223,000 for a concrete ‘chicane’, £300,000 for turnstiles and £1.25M for bollards and leaf-shaped benches.