Design team announced for £40m Edinburgh Innovation Hub build

CONTRACTORS have been appointed to take forward the £40 million delivery of an innovation hub on land adjacent to Queen Margaret University near Musselburgh.

The Edinburgh Innovation Hub will focus on food and drink related innovation within the context of health and wellbeing. It will include services laboratories and office accommodation, as well as facilities for events.

Queen Margaret University said construction is set to commence in the summer of 2023, with completion in 2025. Edinburgh-based Oberlanders Architects will lead the design; whilst WSP has been appointed as mechanical and electrical services engineers; Civic Engineers as structural, civil, and transport engineers on the project; and Currie & Brown will manage the works.

Steve Charman, partner at Oberlanders Architects, commented, “This is an amazing opportunity to deliver a world class facility to foster innovation and collaboration in the food, drink and health sciences sectors. The new innovation hub will form a unique and valuable addition to the Edinburgh and the Lothians science & innovation sector.”

Director of WSP, Jack Devlin, said, “WSP are delighted to have been appointed to work with Queen Margaret University and East Lothian Council to provide building services, sustainability, fire engineering and acoustic design services. The quality of the spaces to inspire science will be paramount. Our team are looking forward to working closely with everyone on the project to seamlessly integrate a sustainable MEP design within the architecture. This will help to create a customised, adaptable and inspiring space, that will not only facilitate discovery, but will also help QMU to attract the very best talent.”

Isla Jackson, director of Civic Engineers, commented, “We’re really pleased to be appointed on the design team as civil, structural and transport engineers for this impressive project which will bring huge benefits for all those who live, work and visit the area. We believe that all our engineering should ultimately have a positive impact on the environment and enable people to lead happier and healthier lives. There’s no doubt that this project seeks to achieve all those things and we’re looking forward to playing our part in helping to make it happen.”

Norman Hampshire, East Lothian Council leader, added, “The appointment of the design team is a significant milestone. This is a very exciting project, with great potential, as it will build on East Lothian’s title of Scotland’s Food & Drink County and help us properly support research, innovation and growth in this important sector. As we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic and look ahead, this is a tremendous opportunity for East Lothian as it will be a project which can provide a boost in terms of jobs, skills and business development. I look forward to seeing the work of the preliminary design team progress.”

Sir Paul Grice, principal of Queen Margaret University, commented, “The appointment of the design team for the Hub represents the achievement of yet another important milestone in the creation of Edinburgh Innovation Park. The hub will greatly increase capacity for research, innovation and growth in the food and drink sector, helping us do more and more to support current and new businesses, in turn delivering sustainable jobs and economic growth.”