It’s been almost 20 years since we unveiled our plans for Scotland’s first purpose-built university campus of the 21st century.
Our subsequent move to our current campus marked the beginning of a long and successful collaboration with East Lothian Council, a relationship which has now unlocked £40m City Region Deal funding for the next phase of planned development in the land around the University grounds.
Director of Campus Development and Operations, Steve Scott, has been instrumental in driving forward these plans from the very beginning.
“Back then, staff and students were scattered across outdated campus buildings in Corstorphine and Leith that were no longer fit for purpose,” said Steve.
“We scouted many potential locations for a new campus to bring us all together before choosing our current location, a decision which reflected the existing amenities offered by the site and the opportunities it provided for future development. This was important, because we had ambitions from the outset to create a vibrant mixed community with the
University at the heart of it.
“Over the past two decades, I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented colleagues and consultants to bring our Victorian founders’ vision of a creative, fairer and healthier society into our ambitions for our new campus, and use of the land around it. Our first major milestone was completing the first phase and relocating here as a university in 2007.
Another highlight was recently receiving the green light and £28.6m from UK Government, £1.4m from Scottish Government and a further £10m from East Lothian Council to develop a flagship Innovation Hub on the land next door.
“The hub will be the anchor for Edinburgh Innovation Park which will be developed over time to create a nationally significant centre of knowledge exchange, innovation and high value business growth. We are also progressing plans in tandem for a new Commercial Zone providing vital amenities for the expanding community.
“East Lothian Council will begin work soon on completing the A1 junction to the site; we are appointing lead consultants to progress the hub and the wider design team will be in place by spring 2022. Our relationship with East Lothian Council will now be cemented in a formal joint venture partnership. We will start building the new hub in spring 2023 and it will take
two years to complete.
“To play a part in delivering such a legacy for the University and bringing our plans to life has been challenging at times, but certainly never dull, and I’m looking forward to bringing
forward this next phase.”