£850 million development plan unveiled

PLANS for an £850 million commercial redevelopment of the St James Quarter in Edinburgh have been unveiled.

The area will be transformed, thanks to an innovative funding agreement between the City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Government and TIAA Henderson Real Estate.
Work is scheduled to start next year and, once completed, will feature high-quality retail space, grade A office accommodation, hotels, a digital theatre, restaurants and residential units.
New retail, hospitality and construction skills academies will help provide extra support for those seeking employment.
It is estimated that, between 2015 and 2040, the redevelopment will support 2,300 jobs and add £25 million to the Scottish economy each year.
The £61m required to improve local infrastructure and public space for this regeneration scheme will be facilitated by the council through a new funding model. Referred to as the ‘Regeneration Accelerator Model’ (RAM), the mechanism will enable a combination of public and private sector investment in local infrastructure and public space that can then be offset by business rates and overall gains to the economy.
Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said, “This government is determined to invest in Scotland’s infrastructure – both to stimulate growth in the short term and lay the foundations for long term success.
“Through schemes such as RAM we are increasing public investment in infrastructure across Scotland, which will create overall gains for the economy as a whole.”
The City of Edinburgh Council has worked with TH Real Estate to develop a project that has sustainability at its core. The plans include a new combined cooling, heat and power centre, electric car charging points, extensive facilities for cyclists, photovoltaic panels, solar tubes and a city car club.
Council Leader Andrew Burns said, “We are delighted the new development will create over 2,300 new jobs for the Capital and that we are able to use this opportunity to train Edinburgh people with professional skills to develop long term employment prospects.”