Redevelopment of Edinburgh school building to boost local economy by £45m



Homebuilder CALA Homes (East) has said its redevelopment of one of Edinburgh’s most iconic old school buildings will deliver an economic boost of over £45 million to the local area.

The restoration of the former Boroughmuir High School will deliver 87 refurbished contemporary one- to four-bedroom apartments, as well as a further 17 mid-market rent apartments.

An indication of the scale of likely benefits to the surrounding area has been set out by independent experts, who assessed the economic impact of the plans laid out by CALA.

The report states that the renovation work at Boroughmuir will create 105 jobs per year – 55 construction jobs and 50 supply chain jobs.

CALA’s work will deliver a £41.9m cash injection to the local economy through the £20.4m construction value and £21.5m worth of economic output.

There will also be £757,000 as part of S75 developer contributions to improve schools, leisure facilities and infrastructure while creating much-needed new homes. The local authority is estimated to receive an extra £290,000 through additional council tax revenues.

Philip Hogg, sales and marketing director at CALA Homes (East), said: “We’re committed to developing communities rather than simply building new homes.

“The construction sector has a pivotal role to play in building and sustaining local communities from helping local trades to thrive and creating jobs through to helping independent shops to prosper.

“Given the sensitive nature of this refurbishment project, we have carefully selected specialist subcontractors, some of which are local, who bring extensive experience and expertise to this development.

“We are proud that our work can bring benefits for both people that choose to live on our development and also to the wider Bruntsfield community.”

The former school was an innovative design by renowned architect John Alexander Carfrae. One of the first buildings in Edinburgh to utilise steel frame for architecture, the building was constructed between 1911 and 1914 and is a Grade B listed building.

It spans a total of 2.18 acres with the apartments ranging from 767²ft to 1,701²ft and set to launch in early 2020.

Independent consultancy Lichfields examined CALA’s proposal in detail and assessed the ripple effect they would deliver in terms of employment opportunities and an increase in money spent at local businesses.

The detailed report suggests the economic windfall for the surrounding community would be delivered in three distinct areas - construction benefits, local community benefits and local authority revenue benefits.

Operational benefits from the work include an estimated £570,000 spent by buyers making their house ‘feel like a home’ by adding their own touches with another £1.75m likely to be spent in local shops.

The report also states that 30 full-time jobs will be created in the local area as a result of increased expenditure from those moving to CALA’s development.

Philip added: “We’re delighted to be investing in Edinburgh and believe our plans will have a positive effect not only by renovating a building of local importance but also by improving infrastructure for the existing community.

“Our track record in the area shows that by engaging with the local contractors and community throughout the design process, we are able to translate our building projects into significant investment in the local area.”

Tags: Cala Group



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