Architect Foster + Partners to work up Haymarket plan

Plans to develop a major site at Edinburgh’s Haymarket have taken a further step forward this week with the appointment of high-profile architectural practice Foster + Partners to design the masterplan.

Qmile Groups Paul Curran  key development for the city. Picture: Lesley Gracie

The four-acre site currently has planning permission for a trio of office buildings totalling 350,000 square feet, a 190-room hotel and a 172-room “aparthotel”. It also has provision for 40,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space.

Earlier this week, Qmile Group, which also delivered the £750 million Quartermile project in Edinburgh, was appointed by fund manager M&G Real Estate to develop the delay-plagued Haymarket scheme.

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Foster + Partners has previously worked with M&G Real Estate and Qmile Group, creating and delivering the masterplan for the Quartermile mixed-use redevelopment of the former ­Edinburgh Royal Infirmary site in Lauriston.

Last year, Foster + Partners – founded by Norman Foster – won the RIBA Stirling Prize for architecture for its design of Bloomberg’s European HQ in London, winning best building in the UK, the third time the practice has scooped the accolade.

Developer Qmile Group’s chief executive Paul Curran said: “The appointment of Foster + Partners brings together an unrivalled team with the knowledge and expertise to fund, design and deliver what is a key development for the city of Edinburgh.

“This will provide the confidence that we are now going to deliver a very special place at Haymarket by providing much needed Grade A city centre office space, hotel accommodation, and retail/leisure provision.”

M&G acquired the site in June for £49.1m. Former owner Interserve put the vacant former goods yard on the ­market in February last year.