Edinburgh BioQuarter consults on Health Innovation District

An online community consultation has been launched today with the intention of developing a new mixed-use neighbourhood, as part of plans by Edinburgh BioQuarter to create a new Health Innovation District.

Edinburgh BioQuarter consults on Health Innovation District

A new fly-through of the proposed development shows the latest design phase of the masterplan to the local community, with the consultation seeking feedback on how the site will evolve over the next decade and beyond.

BioQuarter, which sits to the south east of the city, is already home to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, the University of Edinburgh Medical School and Centre for Regenerative Medicine, alongside a number of medical research institutes and life sciences businesses. The ambition is that BioQuarter will grow to a community of more than 20,000 people who will live, work or study at the 167-acre site. The expansion will support an estimated 9,000 longer term new jobs, plus additional construction jobs, while greatly expanding the numbers of spin out and start-up companies.

BioQuarter’s Partners – the City of Edinburgh Council, NHS Lothian, Scottish Enterprise, and the University of Edinburgh – are updating their existing masterplan to include a wider mix of uses including an increase in residential and commercial properties planned at the site. The consultation on the plan will run online – due to current restrictions caused by COVID-19 – between June 18 and July 13.

Proposals featured as part of the online consultation include the construction of shops, cafés, a gym, hotel, nursery and residential homes set alongside state-of-the-art innovation, teaching and healthcare facilities.

With the commitment of its partners, BioQuarter has already benefitted from over £500 million of public capital investment and has a further £300m of investment planned over the next five years. The site is also home to innovative research including STOPCOVID, a project aiming to test existing and experimental drugs as treatments for COVID-19, spearheaded by the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Inflammation Research.

Commenting on the launch of the consultation, Anna Stamp, Edinburgh BioQuarter, interim programme director, said: “Over the past two decades BioQuarter has grown as a place for health innovation with some of the country’s top medical research and life sciences businesses working together across the site.

“We want your views to help shape BioQuarter’s development. This is an exciting time as we look to create a new community in the city; a vibrant neighbourhood that promotes health and wellbeing and complements its surrounding areas.

“We have a unique opportunity here, which, if developed in the right way, can deliver huge benefits to the city, including economic growth, jobs skills and education. As part of the development of our Health Innovation District, we want to make sure it includes the right mix of amenities that will ensure it becomes a great new place to live, work and discover.”

Council leader Adam McVey said: “I’m delighted to see plans progressing for this hugely exciting project for Edinburgh. I’d encourage everyone to feed into the consultation for this cutting-edge development. Life sciences have long been extremely valuable as a sector here in Edinburgh, and the BioQuarter will play a crucial role in its ongoing success. This can make a massive contribution to the ongoing regeneration of the south east of the city.

“This scheme will create a whole new community of people, with access to a vibrant new public square. In addition to this, it’s estimated the development will create around 9,000 new local jobs, with many more construction roles being created while it is being built.”

Details on the development can be found here.

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