Innovative funding has unlocked an £850 million commercial redevelopment in Edinburgh that will create hundreds of construction jobs when work starts on site next year, as well as permanent employment for 2,300 people.
Key to kick-starting the St James Quarter development is £61 million of funding for improving local infrastructure and public space in the area in the centre of Edinburgh, adjacent to Waverley Station and under the shadow of the City’s famous castle.
The City of Edinburgh Council, the Scottish Government and developer TIAA Henderson Real Estate agreed a deal that facilitates this investment through a new funding model called the Regeneration Accelerator Model (RAM). RAM allows private and public funding to combine to provide infrastructure improvements and public spaces which is then offset by business rates and overall gains to the economy from the project – the St James Quarter scheme is estimated to have potential to add £25 million a year to the Scottish economy.
This unlocks other funding for the 450,000 sq ft development which has outline planning permission for retail space, a five star hotel, a four star hotel, an apart-hotel, restaurants and apartments. The planning permission includes creation of construction, retail and hospitality skill academies to support employment of local people.
Building Design Partnership and Alan Murray Associates have been involved in the design of the development which is said to have sustainability at its heart, with a combined cooling, heat and power centre, electric car charging points, facilities for cyclists, photovoltaic panels, solar tubes and a City car club.
Martin Perry, Director of Development, TH Real Estate, said: “This scale of investment is unprecedented in central Edinburgh and will transform the city’s retail offer, putting it on the international ‘map’ of major shopping destinations. We are now looking forward to delivering other key milestones in order for construction to start.”