Edinburgh's £1bn St James Centre project halts construction due to COVID-19

The hotel, shopping centre and residential project will shut its construction site from tonight.

By Conor Matchett
Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 7:11 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 7:12 pm

Construction of the £1 billion new St James Centre is to halt due to fears over the spread of coronavirus, the Evening News can reveal.

The project, which was due to open in the Autumn of this year, will shut its construction site tonight due to COVID-19.

Contractors Laing O’Rourke said they have been “significantly scaling back” work on the site to comply with the Scottish Government’s guidance, but said the gates would close tonight to allow for future options to be assessed.

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The construction site of the new St James' Shopping Centre that is being built in Edinburgh city centre, during the coronavirus outbreak.

The closure could lead to a delay in the opening date of the centre, which will house 85 shops, 30 restaurant, two hotels and a cinema.

The city’s first W hotel - W Edinburgh - will open at the centre, along with a Roomzzz Aparthotel and the first Everyman cinema in Edinburgh.

Clothing retailers including H&M, Zara, and New Look are also set to open stores in the centre.

A spokesperson for Laing O’Rourke said: “Following the Scottish Government’s updated direction on social distancing, we have been significantly scaling back work on our Edinburgh St James site to complete essential works in accordance with those conditions, and to keep the site safe.

“From tonight the site will be closed as we assess next options.”