Huge mobile crane will arrive at Edinburgh St James Centre site overnight to take down Europe's largest tower crane

The cranes have gained a place in the hearts of many Edinburgh residents.

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:37 pm

The biggest of nine tower cranes at the Edinburgh St James Centre site will be taken down next week.

It comes as construction ramps up to get the new shopping destination finished by October 2020.

A letter sent out to residents on Monday from site engineers Laing O'Rourke said a "large mobile crane" will be delivered to the site at 3am on Thursday, December 12th for the removal of the next tower crane.

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The cranes at the Edinburgh St James site.

The letter reads: "This will be set up in St James Place to assist in the removal of one of our Tower cranes (TC1) which is an exceptionally large tower crane hence the reason for the large mobile.

"The reason for the early delivery is to avoid any disruption to the Bus Station and the running of the Trams. We will be informing the Council regarding our plans."

The second tower crane, which is the largest in Europe, is set to be taken down by next week. The first tower crane has already come down.

Laing O'Rourke will have site supervision in place throughout the works and all effort will be made to minimise noise disruption.

The tower cranes.

The cranes have become a much-loved fixture for many on Edinburgh's skyline, and over the next 10 months they will gradually be taken down.

Nine tower cranes in total have been on the Edinburgh St James site.

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This is when the cranes at the Edinburgh St James Centre will start to come down

"Now, as the development truly begins to take shape, we have started to take down our cranes one by one. Over the next ten months we’ll see cranes gradually replaced by the buildings and new streets of Edinburgh St James in readiness for opening in October 2020."

The cranes have been in place since March 2018, meaning they will have graced the city skyline for more than two years by the time they are fully taken down.