Edinburgh's sustainable future: Profound transformation of city centre will cause some disruption but it'll be worth it – Angus Robertson

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As everyone in Edinburgh knows, the centre of the city is essential for its economic, cultural and community life.

To help ensure the continuing good fortune at the heart of the Capital, local business leaders work together in the business improvement organisation ‘Essential Edinburgh’.

Their objectives are to: help city centre businesses increase customer numbers and revenue; ensure the delivery of world-class environmental services within the city centre; proactively market Edinburgh city centre as a world-class business, retail and tourism destination; and facilitate collaborative and productive relationships between city centre businesses and the public and third sectors.

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All of this is happening as businesses navigate: recovery from coronavirus; changes in office working patterns; UK-wide economic turmoil; rises in energy and many other basic costs, making these perhaps the most difficult economic circumstances in recent history.

On top of this, the centre of Edinburgh will go through a profound transformation in the next years, with large-scale redevelopments which will cause disruption but will hopefully bring strong economic and environmental benefits in the long run.

The exciting reimagining of George Street will only be successful if the council, developers, residents, retailers and businesses from Saint Andrew Square to Charlotte Square continue to work in partnership to ensure that the project is completed with minimal disruption and continuing public access to shops, offices and hotels.

Having spoken to local stakeholders at an excellent event hosted by Essential Edinburgh, it is clear there is a strong desire to work towards a more sustainable city. Despite the inevitable challenges along the way, I am convinced it will be worth the effort.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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