Amazon jobs - 'The big hope is that others will follow'

Amazon's decision to base its new customer service centre in Edinburgh is a timely boost for the Capital's economy.

The online giant has made it clear that our highly-skilled workforce was a key reason for choosing to recruit 900 new staff here.

Attracting such a commitment from another international brand can only cement the city's reputation as a good place to do business.

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After Amazon, Tesco Bank and Virgin Money, the big hope remains that others will follow.

But the fact Scottish Enterprise had to hand over 1.8 million towards Amazon's training and office fitting costs is a sobering sign of the times.

Contrast that with Bill Gates' record-breaking deal three years ago to hire another two floors of the same Waverley Gate complex. The reputed 5m he paid for a 15- year lease is said to be the most expensive commercial rent ever paid in Scotland.

It is clear there is now a serious fight on to attract such major employers, but that is a battle that the whole of Scotland cannot afford to see Edinburgh lose.

Common goals

THE initial reaction to Hearts floating a possible move from Tynecastle suggests that fans are surprisingly open to the idea.

None will be happy to leave their spiritual home but most supporters see that it may be necessary for the club to prosper, and they are now taking the chance to say where they might want to move to and what a new stadium would look like.

This is a good, inclusive process for which the often-maligned majority owner and his management team deserve praise. But it is important that it is not only Hearts fans who have their say.

Building a new stadium is a serious matter for the whole city which will have obvious implications for those who live near it, while what happens to Tynecastle will be of keen interest to all living in Gorgie.

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Then there are wider questions which need to be asked, even if only to be discounted. Can the council afford to be part of a joint venture? Should Edinburgh Rugby or future provision of facilities currently at Meadowbank be part of a wider review?

It won't be good enough to wait for the planning process to have this debate.

We should have it now, before anyone starts spending any money - and while the options are all open for joined-up thinking on our future sporting provision.