Work on Edinburgh St James centre restarts after coronavirus suspension

The £1bn development was forced to halt work with the developers saying it is too soon to judge whether its opening date has been affected.

The construction site of the new St James' Shopping Centre that is being built in Edinburgh city centre, during the coronavirus outbreak.
The construction site of the new St James' Shopping Centre that is being built in Edinburgh city centre, during the coronavirus outbreak.

Construction workers at the £1 billion development of the St James Centre have returned to work after an easing of the restrictions around building sites in Scotland.

Work was halted at Edinburgh St James was halted on March 25 due to fears around the spread of coronavirus.

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The hotel, shopping and luxury residential development was due to open in October 2020, but developers have said it is too soon to know whether that date will have to be pushed back due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

They added safety of workers and those around the site remained their “main priority”.

Martin Perry, development director at Edinburgh St James, said: “We welcome the relaxation of lockdown and are working closely with our contractors to review the programme and delivery in line with Government guidance on social distancing.

“It remains, however, an unprecedented time and we therefore do not yet know the full impact on the construction programme.

“As we continue to increase capacity on site, we will be better placed to provide an update on timings, but our main priority and focus at this moment in time is ensuring the safety of everyone in and around the site.”

The city’s first W hotel - W Edinburgh - is due to open at the centre in 2022, along with a Roomzzz Aparthotel and the first Everyman cinema in Edinburgh.

Clothing retailers including H&M, Zara, and New Look are also set to open stores in the centre.

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