Edinburgh set for one of Scotland’s 'most sustainable hotels' after revised plans approved
Bosses at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) said they were pushing ahead with their plans following the council’s decision to rubber stamp a revised business proposal for the site.
M&G Real Estate is funding the hotel and hotel school, which is being delivered by Qmile Group as part of its vast £350 million Haymarket Edinburgh development.
The EICC will operate the 350-bedroom four-star hotel under a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, with the new establishment addressing the conference delegate demand issues the conference facility has historically faced.
The hotel is expected to create more than 200 jobs and is set to open its doors in 2024.
City councillors voted 47 to nine in favour of the hotel and hotel school project.
EICC chief executive Marshall Dallas said: “Not only is the hotel integral to the future of the EICC, but we also see it being a key component in the return of business tourism to Edinburgh.
“From the very outset, sustainability was near the top of the agenda, it has always been a strong part of our offering as a venue, so we’re pleased to be setting a standard here.”
City of Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said: “The refreshed business case sets out a robust economic and social case to proceed with this exciting and ambitious development for our capital city.
“This project strengthens the offer of our publicly-owned EICC and delivers a bright future as conferences return to the city.
“The establishment of the hotel school will support and benefit our hospitality and tourism sectors by creating employment and training opportunities for local people who can then build a successful career in Edinburgh.”
The EICC opened its doors in 1995 and has since played host to almost 1.5 million delegates, more than 3,500 events and has generated some £720 million in economic impact for Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.
Dallas added: “Overall, we expect the hotel and hotel school to provide significant job creation and economic benefit to the city – which were some of the positive factors outlined to the City of Edinburgh Council when they reviewed the revised business case.”
The hotel school and training academy will partner with Edinburgh College, offering a career path for students and trainees and providing a pipeline of qualified people for Scotland’s leisure and tourism industry. The EICC-Edinburgh College partnership forecasts that it will train up to 200 people every year.
Audrey Cumberford, principal and chief executive at Edinburgh College, said: “The hotel training academy is an exciting development for the city, and will help to deliver future skills in the sector, a sector which is in need of a boost following the pandemic.
“The vision of the EICC team, along with multiple city partners, means we will be able to build a unique training centre in the heart of Edinburgh, creating a pipeline of talent in the region.”