Council parties slam £61m St James Quarter loan

The �61m loan for The St James Quarter has angered opposition parties. Picture: Comp
The �61m loan for The St James Quarter has angered opposition parties. Picture: Comp
15
Have your say

A DEAL to borrow £61 million from the Scottish Government to pay for the new St James Quarter has faced staunch criticism from all opposition parties at City Chambers.

The Greens, Conservatives and Lib Dems all voted to oppose the financial package driving the transformational development amid claims they had been given just a few days to scruntinise the deal.

But despite a split vote, the motion to rubberstamp the funding pot was overwhelmingly agreed thanks to the large contingent of Labour and SNP councillors who jointly run the council.

The £850m St James Quarter has secured a new form of public private partnership that would see £61m invested by the taxpayer through the Regeneration Accelerator Model - which combines local and national government funding with private investment in local infrastructure and public space.

The Scottish Government can then claw this loan back through increased business rates over the next 25 years. Around 2,300 jobs are expected to be created from the new St James Quarter which developers TH Real Estate say will catapult Edinburgh in the top five UK cities for shopping.