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Council seeking development partner for regeneration at Fountainbridge

A contract notice published by the council seeks expressions of interest from potential developers.

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Regeneration of the Fountainbridge neighbourhood took a major step forward today (Monday, 21 October) with the launch of a bidding process by the City of Edinburgh Council to appoint a development partner for the former Fountain Brewery site.

A contract notice published by the council seeks expressions of interest from potential developers. The responses will be used to draw up a shortlist, with the council hoping to have a development partner in place by the summer.

The redevelopment will transform three hectares of canalside brownfield land into a vibrant new place to live and work. Plans include over 400 new homes (177 of them affordable) and a 10,000 sqm office building aimed at growing technology companies, along with over 4,500 sqm of shops, eateries and space for social enterprises. High quality public realm and greenspace will provide a healthy environment for residents, visitors and people at work. 

The regeneration of Fountainbridge has progressed apace in recent years, with former industrial land being transformed into offices, hotels, flats, and student accommodation as well as a new home for Boroughmuir High School and the Edinburgh Printmakers cultural hub. An outline business case for the redevelopment of the council’s remaining land was approved in March 2019, and work is now underway to find the best partner to help make the proposals a reality.

It is anticipated that construction could begin in spring 2021.

Councillor Kate Campbell, Convener of the Housing, Homelessness and Fair Work Committee, said: “The new high school and refurbishment of the old rubber factory, now a state of the art HQ for Edinburgh Printmakers, were the first steps in the regeneration of this longstanding gap site.

“This next phase will see hundreds of new homes being built, and around 40% of them will be affordable. Fountainbridge has proportionally less social housing than other parts of the city so this is crucial to making sure that we have strong, mixed communities across our city.

“We have the opportunity to deliver office space on part of the site, some of which will be available for social enterprises and which will have a strong focus on the emerging tech sector, supporting our ambition to be the data driven capital of Europe and creating well paid, skilled jobs.

“We’re also looking at a low or zero carbon energy solution for the site, which is vital to our commitment to reach net zero carbon by 2030. And we’re keeping local people involved at every stage of this process, listening to what they want and need for their community. Their input is strongly reflected in the plans.”

The development site in question is the land between Fountainbridge and the Union Canal, northeast of Viewforth (previously known as ‘India Quay’). It is adjacent to the ‘New Fountainbridge’ site being developed by Vastint Hospitality.

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