Edinburgh St James construction investment hits £111m locally

Major milestone as development reaches halfway point

G&T is providing Cost and Project Management services, as well as Principal Designer and CDM Consultancy services and Life Cycle Costing on Edinburgh St James 1.7million sq ft development. 

This is one of the largest and most significant regeneration projects currently underway in the UK, and is celebrating a key milestone in its construction programme. Now two years into development, the scheme has already reached multiple ambitious targets as set out by contractor Laing O’Rourke as part of the project’s sustainability plan.

As construction moves apace, over £111 million has been invested in locally sourced construction materials and workforce. As part of the project’s ongoing commitment to the wider Edinburgh community, economy and environment, considerable progress has been made with attaining important goals, including:

  • 31,737 tonnes of material from demolition recycled and reused onsite for construction purposes. This is the equivalent weight of 21,158 small family cars (1.5 tonnes each) or 264 blue whales (120 tonnes each)
  • Over 2,800 people inducted on site, 80 per cent (2,240) of whom live within 100 miles of the project
  • Nearly 800 days’ work experience provided for local schools, universities, and graduates – already notably exceeding its 500 day target for the entire project
  • Over 700 students from 48 different schools, colleges and universities involved through the project’s curriculum engagement activities and work experience opportunities
  • Over 600 hours of volunteering carried out by members of the project team
  • Over 1,000 items (including warm clothes, food and toiletries) donated by the project team to various charities
Gardiner & Theobald - St James Q N7 Medium

© TH Real Estate

A vibrant retail & leisure destination

Located within a World Heritage site in the heart of Edinburgh, the project will completely redefine mixed-use regeneration in the UK. Injecting over £1 billion of investment into the city, it will feature 850,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space, including 85 new shops, over 30 new restaurants, Edinburgh’s first Everyman Cinema, 152 apartments, a striking 12-storey hotel - W Edinburgh, a 75 room Roomzzz Aparthotel, and three new public squares. With its 24 hour leisure offering, Edinburgh St James is set to revolutionise and regenerate the city’s East End.

Martin Perry, Director of Development, Edinburgh St James, said:

“As we reach the halfway point in construction, it’s extremely exciting to see the significant progress made since starting on site two years ago. As the steel structure continues to reach new heights, it’s encouraging to see the positive impact the development is having on the local economy and community. The team has put in a huge amount of work to minimise the impact on the environment through its extensive recycling initiatives. As we approach the new year, people will soon be able to see this major new city landmark come to life. Our delivery programme has ensured that we continue to progress on time and on budget, and we look forward to making further announcements about progress ahead of the opening in 2020.”

Tim Kelly, Laing O'Rourke Project Director said:

“I am extremely pleased with the progress made to date. The team is fully focussed on employing its considerable engineering expertise to deliver this exciting project on time, safely and to a high quality. I am equally proud that the project is generating positive impacts throughout Edinburgh by creating jobs, providing educational opportunities and boosting the economy of the local supply chain. Projects of this scale leave behind a lasting legacy that goes beyond physical construction and our team is proud to contribute.”

Gardiner & Theobald - St James Q N4 Medium

© TH Real Estate

Cllr Kate Campbell, Housing and Economy Convener, said:

“It’s positive for local businesses that this project is using so many local suppliers and creating thousands of job opportunities for people living in and around Edinburgh. I’m also really pleased that there have been training opportunities created for young people who have gained valuable work experience and learned new skills spending time at the development site.”

Cllr Lezley Marion Cameron, Vice-Convener of the Housing and Economy Committee, said:

“When complete Edinburgh St James will create a modern, exciting and vibrant new retail and leisure destination for Edinburgh. Pedestrian and cycling provision is being enhanced around the development and its location has excellent public transport links. This means it will be fully accessible while offering something for everyone.”

Sustainable workforce

Edinburgh St James is demonstrating best practice in sustainability as part of the project’s ongoing commitment to the wider Edinburgh community, economy and environment. The development will provide long-term benefits to Edinburgh delivering over 3,000 permanent full time jobs in a variety of sectors. Up to 5,000 construction jobs are being created during the build. ‘FUSE’ the citywide retail and hospitality skills academy established to drive world class customer care experience in Edinburgh, is delivered together with the City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government is scheduled to launch to the public in early 2019.

The retail and leisure element at Edinburgh St James is anticipated to complete in 2020, followed by full scheme completion in 2021.

Find out more about this project in our case study.

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