Edinburgh Council approves £750m BioQuarter expansion project

WCN Editorial Team 27 Feb 2020 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Edinburgh Council has given its approval for a £750m project to expand the BioQuarter in the south-east of the Scottish capital.

To be known as Edinburgh’s Health Innovation District, the planned expansion is expected to create space for research and healthcare innovation, commercial use, hotel, gym, retail and leisure. The plan also has a long-term vision to include residential housing at the site.

Once completed, the expansion could support more than 20,000 people while creating nearly 9,000 new jobs and many more during the construction phase.

At present, the BioQuarter plays an important role in medical research and is touted to be a flagship development within the Life Sciences sector with a unique combination of specialist activities.

Edinburgh Council Leader Adam McVey said: “We're delighted to be part of the BioQuarter project, a hugely exciting and cutting-edge development that will make a massive contribution to the on-going regeneration of the South East of the city; creating a whole new community of 20,000 people, with access to a vibrant new public square to meet in and use for a whole range of services and events.

Edinburgh Council has partnered with the University of Edinburgh, Scottish Enterprise and NHS Lothian for the project’s development. The aim is to build on the BioQuarter’s existing expertise and facilities, where major companies are attracted and could be created.

The council has also agreed to offer up to £500,000 for taking the project to the next stage, including further development of the business case and related procurement process.

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: “Life sciences have long been extremely valuable as a sector here in Edinburgh, and the BioQuarter is playing a hugely valuable role in its on-going success.

“It's estimated the development will create around 9,000 new jobs, many of which will be taken up by local people, with many more construction roles being created while it is being built.”

In 1977, the Scottish Government secured planning permission for land in the Little France area of Edinburgh, allowing for the relocation of the city’s Royal Infirmary and the University of Edinburgh’s Medical School from their historic sites in the City Centre.

In 2002, NHS Lothian opened its first building, the new Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. At the same time, the University had also completed the first phase of relocation of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, by moving the medical teaching and research to the adjacent Chancellor’s Building. In 2007 the site was named Edinburgh BioQuarter.

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Image: Artist’s rendering of the new Health Innovation District in Edinburgh. (Credit: The City of Edinburgh Council.)

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