Building a bright future for Edinburgh

Edinburgh is a city that never sits still. Despite Brexit uncertainties recent developments indicate that investment and investors remain very interested in Scotland’s capital city.

Levels of inward investment into Scotland and in particular Edinburgh, along with the large scale commercial developments, the continued strength of established sectors such as financial services, and growth in “up and coming” sectors such as FinTech are contributing towards the positive wider economic outlook in Scotland.

The hotel sector is also taking off as a result of flowing stream of developments. Edinburgh is the UK’s most popular tourist destination after London. Whether it be business or leisure, people relish the opportunity to visit Scotland’s cosmopolitan capital city due to its rich history, diversity and year-round appeal. The city already boats some of the highest hotel occupancy levels in all of Europe yet the industry believes that there is plenty of scope for more accommodation.

One exciting commercial development that is sure to add great value to the city is the International Business Gateway (IGB) – a large scale mixed-use development adjacent to the airport and strategically positioned to attract new international business to Scotland. Extends over 105 hectares design plans for the IGB include 232,000 square meters of top of the line business space, hotels offering 1,410 bedrooms and 2,500 residential units.

When discussing Edinburgh’s economic regeneration, it is difficult not to mention one of the largest and most significant projects – the Edinburgh St James Project. Comprising 850,000 sq ft of retail space, including 85 new shops and 32 food and beverage units, an Everyman Cinema, up to 150 new homes, a five-star luxury W Hotel, a Roomzzz Aparthotel and three new public squares, Edinburgh St James is set to rejuvenate the city’s East End.

We see the number of large scale commercial developments underway in the city making Edinburgh as a catalyst for further inward investment in the future. Whether that further investment be commercial or residential developments, there will be a requirement for improvements and developments in the infrastructure of the city to support it. In turn, that demand will sustain the strength and confidence to the construction industry in the city.

There is no doubting the commitment of the Scottish Government to Scotland’s infrastructure. Earlier this month, Infrastructure Secretary Michael Matheson confirmed formation of a Scottish Infrastructure Commission stating that The Scottish Government “have already committed to increasing Scotland’s infrastructure spending to internationally competitive levels, and in establishing an Infrastructure Commission we will ensure that our additional £7bn investment delivers maximum benefits to our economy and public services.”

The present uncertainty around the shape of the Brexit deal (if any) may for a point, dampen the optimism currently being experienced. Conversely, the post Brexit landscape, however that may look, could potentially have the opposite effect. Developments in this space will need to be closely monitored.

MacRoberts’ specialists in Construction and Infrastructure and Projects teams have supported and help deliver some of the most exciting major infrastructure commercial and housing developments and in Scotland.

This article was co-authored by Niall Skelton.

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