Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex visit Edinburgh’s St James Quarter

Prince Edward and Sophie Wessex have visited Edinburgh’s new St James Quarter.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 4:37 pm

Opening to the public for the first time last Thursday, the completion of phase one of the £1 billion development brings a new, retail-led lifestyle district to the city centre.

The new space will be undergoing a phased opening over the next 18 months, with the Scottish food hall Bonnie & Wild to come over the next few weeks as well as further retail offerings opening regularly until November.

Developers say about 3,000 retail and leisure jobs are set to be created through the inspiring, attractive and vibrant destination for locals and visitors to shop, eat and play.

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Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Forfar visit St James Quarter on Tuesday. Pictures: Ian Georgeson

More than 40 retailers welcomed the public through their doors last week, many of which were debuting their brand in Scotland such as Stradivarius, Bershka and Pull&Bear.

H&M, Mango, Next – including its Victoria Secret offering - Rituals, Tommy Hilfiger, Peloton, Salerno, Nordic Outdoor and many more also welcomed their first visitors to their new stores. As part of the development plans, John Lewis opened its newly renovated store in May.

On Tuesday Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Forfar, also known as the Earl and Countess of Wessex, visited St James Quarter for a tour of the new scheme, developed by Nuveen Real Estate.

Martin Perry, director of development at St James Quarter, said: “We were delighted to welcome Their Royal Highnesses to St James Quarter today.

Their Royal Highnesses The Earl and Countess of Forfar visit St James Quarter.

“The team were honoured to show off the brand new 850,000 sq ft shopping galleria, and the enviable line up of brands within it, but also give them a sneak peek at the amazing spaces and places that are still to come.

“We believe in Edinburgh, and we are excited to help lead the way as part of the city’s wider economic recovery. Throughout this pandemic we have never questioned our investment in not only the St James Quarter but the city itself. We’re here to stay and we’re here to help.

“Everyone involved has worked incredibly hard over the last five years to bring the St James Quarter vision to life and to deliver a world-class destination within the heart of the capital city – and a visit from the Royal Household was a great way to top off the phase one opening celebrations.”

Hotels, pop-ups and a cinema

The Royals visited the shopping centre on Tuesday.

The futuristic, digitally-led shopping experience is described as like no other in the country. Everything down to the parking spaces under the Quarter has been meticulously planned with guests in mind. The car park boasts the largest electric car charging point in Edinburgh, and the spaces are colour coded to ensure visitors are not lost when they return.

There is even digital number plate recognition so customers will be able to ask guest services to locate their vehicle if they lose track.

Committed to championing local brands, taking over Little King Street for the next 12 months are an array of local food and drink pop-ups including Harajuku Kitchen, Artisan Roast, The Mac Man and Churros, Baby? to keep shoppers energised whilst visiting the Quarter throughout the year.

St James Quarter will also be home to an Everyman Cinema - with five screens and sofa seating - and a mix of new restaurants, cafés and bars. When complete, in addition to the new shopping hub, the development will have Scotland’s first W Hotel – W Edinburgh – which includes 244 stylish guestrooms, a destination bar, outdoor terrace, signature restaurant and spa.

There will also be a stylish 75-room Roomzzz Aparthotel, where guests can stay for one night, a week and up to a year.

A total of 152 New Eidyn apartments for residential city centre living will also join the roster, as well as nine new public squares and 1,600 car parking spaces.

St James Quarter is open from 9am until 8pm from Monday to Saturday and from 10am until 6pm on Sunday.

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