New-look mall will create 500 jobs

UP to 500 jobs are to be created by the owner of one of the Scottish capital's main shopping centres, The Scotsman can reveal.

A 25 million expansion of the Cameron Toll complex has been unveiled by an Irish investment fund which snapped it up last year. The project will see a second anchor store created on the site, in the south of Edinburgh, which currently boasts a Sainsbury's superstore.

The expansion will also feature about ten other retail units, six new restaurants, a rooftop terrace area for alfresco dining and a cinema with up to five screens.

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It is hoped work will get under way within the year, subject to planning permission, and take a further 18 months to complete.

The Cameron Toll expansion project will provide a huge boost to the city's retail sector and comes just weeks after plans to overhaul the St James Centre were approved.

A previous 21 million scheme to expand Cameron Toll – featuring a private health club, a two-storey department store and four smaller retail outlets – was approved several years ago, but never came to fruition as the complex changed hands several times.

The plans have been announced by Dublin-based Warren Private Finance, which manages the investment fund, backed by a syndicate of Irish business figures, who paid more than 80 million for the centre early last year.

It is thought major retailers such as Debenhams and Primark are among the prime targets to become the second anchor store.

The plans revealed today are the first phase of a long-term project to completely transform the complex, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. They are earmarked for land currently used for car parking at the southern end of the site. Links will also be improved to nearby Inch Park under the current proposals.

However, Warren is also planning to modernise the northern end of the existing mall, revamp the food court and completely overhaul the exterior of the centre.

The company will be embarking on a consultation exercise over its plans with neighbours and community groups over the next few days ahead of a planning application being lodged with the city council.

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A spokesman for Warren said: "Although Cameron Toll is very popular, we believe it is not fulfilling its potential, considering its catchment area."

Cameron Whyte, project director for the expansion, said it was aimed at "revitalising" the existing centre.

Tom Buchanan, economic development convenor at the city council, said: "Obviously, at this time I would be keen to progress any development which enhances the city, and the south side in particular."


ONE of Scotland's leading housebuilders has vowed to create more than 1,000 homes in Fife.

Cala Homes has unveiled plans for a huge development on farmland at Inverteil, in Kirkcaldy. It is hoped work will get under way within two years on two sites south of Kirkcaldy Golf Club at Balwearie.

The project includes a new primary school, a health complex, community centres, a nursing home, parks and shops.

Cala said the development would be built in phases over ten years.

A detailed plan will go on public display this week in the Mercat Centre in Kirkcaldy.

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