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Revealed: Images of Allan Murray's Edinburgh mega-scheme

The first images of Edinburgh’s £850 million grand St James’ Quarter development by Allan Murray Architects and BDP were unveiled today

Building work on the new commercial, retail and residential district, which is being developed by TIAA Henderson Real Estate (TH Real Estate)is expected to start next year and complete in 2019.

Planning permission has been granted for 42,500m² of shopping space – almost double the retail capacity of the St James Centre precinct it will replace – as well as a five and four star hotel, an apart-hotel, grade A office space, a digital theatre, restaurants and residential units.

Sustainability has also been factored into the project – plans include a new combined cooling, heating and power centre, electric car charging points, cyclist facilities, photovoltaic panels, solar tubes and a city car club.

The pictures were published on the same day that City of Edinburgh Council and the Scottish Government announced the £61million required to improve local infrastructure and public space at the east end of Princes Street would be facilitated through a new funding agreement known as the ‘Regeneration Accelerator Model (RAM).

The mechanism combines public and private sector investment in local infrastructure and public space that can then be offset by business rates and overall gains to the economy.

‘Our aspirations for the St James Quarter have been well known for some time now and to have secured this funding support is a key milestone for this exciting project, demonstrating confidence in Edinburgh as a leading European city,’ Martin Perry, director of development, TH Real Estate said.

‘This scale of investment is unprecedented in central Edinburgh and will transform the city’s retail offer, putting it on the international ‘map’ of major shopping destinations. We are now looking forward to delivering other key milestones in order for construction to start.’

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