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£2bn of Edinburgh development climbs off the drawing board

Words: Roger Milne

Edinburgh City Council has highlighted progress on £2 billion worth of key developments in the Scottish capital. The schemes are known as ‘the Edinburgh 12’.

According to councilor Frank Ross, the council’s economy convenor, these sites have the potential to support up to 20,000 jobs once complete and a further 28,000 during construction. These schemes will also go some way to addressing the city’s demand for Grade A office space and much-needed additional hotel accommodation. 

He highlighted the £1 billion Edinburgh St James scheme designed to boost the city’s retail floor space and transform the east end. Developer Edinburgh St James has outline planning permission for high-quality retail space, grade A office accommodation, hotels, a digital theatre, restaurant, housing and a new employment training centre. Demolition work is expected to start in early 2015.

He also singled out progress on the gap site located opposite the newly refurbished Haymarket Station. Work is underway to strengthen the two main railway tunnels between Waverley and Haymarket and on archaeological excavations. When work is complete, this site will be transformed into a £200 million mixed-use development delivering offices, hotel and retail space with the potential to create 3,500 jobs. 

Another major development project cited was the New Waverley scheme earmarked to revive the well-known industrial gap site in the Old Town once occupied by a bus garage and gas works. It is scheduled to become a £150 million mix of hotels, shops, cafes, restaurants as well as grade A office space.