Edinburgh Brewery Site Could Serve Up £1bn Office Space Scheme

A former brewery site in Edinburgh, which has lain derelict for over 5 years, could be transformed into a ‘cultural quarter’ for the city if plans submitted by Lloyds Banking Group are approved.

Lloyds delivered their plans for the Fountainside scheme on Tuesday, and according to the Group’s property director Paul Baker, the company plan to “work closely with Edinburgh City Council to help it move the project forward.”

A report by Herald Scotland reveals that the 13-acre development would provide mixed use amenities specifically targeted towards the performing arts and creative industries. The scheme would create around 330,000 sq ft of new office space combined with a hotel, shops, sports and leisure facilities.

The site would also provide student housing and residential accommodation in a canal district community.

Reports suggest that the development would create thousands of jobs, and is thought to be on a larger scale than another of Edinburgh’s major redevelopment projects – the £850 million St James Quarter development.

Lloyds Banking Group stated in a report:

“The redevelopment provides an opportunity to consider a comprehensive approach to the regeneration of the area, creating a mixed-use environment and establishing the canal side as a new quarter for Edinburgh.”

Speaking to Herald Scotland, Tom Buchanan, Edinburgh City Council’s economic development chief, said:

“This is another important step towards bringing this valuable space back into use for the city and, of course, to the on-going regeneration of Fountainbridge. The creation of a new canal quarter, in particular, has been on this council’s agenda for some time and we look forward to seeing more detailed plans.”

While the development will bring prime new office space to the city, according to recent comments by the Edinburgh office of property consultants Lambert Smith Hampton, the conventional office sector in Ediburgh is currently experiencing a “volatile” market. Chris Dougray commented that “any letting at the moment is significant.”

According to the Scotsman, experts from the commercial property sector also claim that only London and Glasgow are experiencing a recovery, but developers across Edinburgh still have to offer major incentives to attract tenants.

Within the serviced office sector, Edinburgh has remained on a par with last year’s figures during the third quarter (Jul-Sep). Enquiries from businesses interested in space in the EH postcode are just -4% down in Q3 2010 compared with the same period last year, and placements are also on a par with 2009’s figures.

However Edinburgh has suffered a drop in prices year-on-year, with Q3 2010 recording an average price per workstation of £165, compared to Q3 2009′s average of £251. This represents a difference of £86, which could in part be blamed on the financial climate and the continued lack of business confidence.

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For more details about the performance of Edinburgh’s serviced office market, keep an eye on officebroker.com’s Stats & Facts section. The latest research from Q3 2010 is due for release shortly, with detailed year-on-year comparisons and quarterly figures on all aspects of the market, ranging from enquiries and placements right through to average workstation costs and the length of license.

Full details will be available here in the coming week: Resource Centre – Stats & Facts.

For further information about Edinburgh office space, search online at officebroker.com.

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Posted by Jo Disney on: Friday, 22 October 2010 at 11:25 AM

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