St James Centre plan ‘a priority’

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THE ST James Centre needs to be redeveloped as a matter of priority, Gordon Drummond has told a business conference in the Capital.

Speaking at the launch of the city’s economic strategy for the next five years, the director of Harvey Nichols in Edinburgh said the existing centre – long considered to be one of the Capital’s biggest eyesores – was in urgent need of improvement in order to help the whole of the city centre.

Ambitious plans to transform the St James Centre into an open-plan galleria-style mall have stalled in recent months over details of the contract.

Mr Drummond’s call was backed by Andy Neal, chief executive of Essential Edinburgh, who said it could only be good for the city.

“The St James centre is a very easy one,” he said. “It is in need of redevelopment, and the current plans look like a significant upgrade to the retail element, so now we just want it as soon as possible.”