Programme launched to help catalyse development in Edinburgh city centre

The City of Edinburgh Council has rolled out a new initiative based on the success of Edinburgh 12

A new programme has been launched to catalyse development in Edinburgh city centre.
It’s been outlined in a new report, which will be considered by councillors on the Economy Committee next week, in a bid to encourage the development of more prime offices, light industrial space, housing for people on low to middle incomes, and tech, creative and cultural space.
According to the City of Edinburgh Council, it follows on from the success of the Edinburgh 12 initiative, in which 12 strategic gap sites with the largest economic impact were identified and earmarked for future development.
It says these sites have since made significant progress, with seven partially completed or under construction.
The local authority claims both the Edinburgh 12 initiative and the new programme embody a ‘one team’ approach within the Council and all relevant resources are being brought together to deliver it.
It says the focus is now to address key investment and regeneration priorities across the city where barriers to development currently exist such as multiple ownerships, contamination and land that has been bought but left undeveloped.
The following target areas have been identified:
  • Prime offices – identify and unlock new sites for office development in the city centre.
  • Light industrial space – help drive the delivery of additional light industrial space.
  • Housing for people on low to middle incomes – complement the existing strategy for affordable housing,  by supporting the development of home suitable for families earning low to middle incomes and workers who would not typically  qualify for affordable housing but who may struggle to secure housing on the open market.
  • Tech, creative and cultural space – help drive the delivery of additional creative and cultural space.
Cllr Gavin Barrie, convener of the Economy Committee, said: “The Council has been instrumental in helping to unlock the sites included the original Edinburgh 12. This is delivering over three million square feet of new commercial space and 1,700 new homes, creating many thousands of jobs.
“It is now time to refocus our efforts and take a strategic approach to ensuing that growth sectors have the right premises they need to grow and that a shortage of space is not a barrier to growth for many Small to Medium Enterprises.
“Ensuring that Edinburgh has high quality grade A office space in the city centre in desirable locations is also crucial to ensuring that larger organisations invest in the city and want to do business here.
“Finally, to ensure we have the people to meet the demand for jobs we must look to assist with the delivery of quality affordable housing for those who may struggle to find housing on the open market but are vital to performance of the economy.
“For example, is there anything that can be done to help nurses in the city whose shift patterns mean they need to live close to their place of work?”
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