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Sat March 06 2021

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First images released of £750m Edinburgh BioQuarter expansion

24 Feb 20 Edinburgh BioQuarter has published the first images of a £750m planned expansion that will create a new mixed-use neighbourhood, including homes for 20,000 people.

BioQuarter has been a centre for medical research and innovations in life sciences for two decades. Some 8,000 people work and study within the boundary of the 160-acre site, which lies three miles south of Edinburgh city centre. The campus includes 13 life sciences businesses based at BioQuarter’s Innovation Centre, as well as Edinburgh Medical School, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

The long-term vision for the site now includes plans for residential housing to support plans to accelerate the development of BioQuarter and create Edinburgh’s Health Innovation District.

BioQuarter is developing a masterplan and ‘place-making’ strategy and intends to seek a joint venture partner through a formal OJEU process to accelerate developments.

Interim programme director Anna Stamp said: “We want to build on the success to date of the BioQuarter. Our plans are to create a vibrant new neighbourhood of Edinburgh centred around a world-leading community of healthcare innovators. By developing at scale and at pace together with a private sector partner we will accelerate solutions to global health challenges.”

There will be more space for research and healthcare innovation, commercial use, hotel, gym, retail and leisure. The expansion will support an estimated 9,000 new jobs, plus additional construction jobs and to grow the pipeline of successful companies.

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BioQuarter’s partners – City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh – have already invested over £500m in the existing site, with a further £300m investment planned in the next five years through pipeline projects, including the new £68m University of Edinburgh Usher Institute.

Scottish Enterprise head of place Derek McCrindle said: “Edinburgh BioQuarter is one of the most significant long-term programmes Scottish Enterprise has undertaken to accelerate growth in the Life Sciences sector, and we are now seeing how successful that has been as demand has outstripped the supply of space.

“Placemaking is crucial to ensuring an economy thrives, and our work to secure the success of the BioQuarter means we are now in a place to build a vibrant new community around that base.”

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