Comment: We needn’t feel too pessimistic

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FOR those who enjoy a bit of afternoon number crunching, the Edinburgh Economy Watch is a useful read.

It’s a monthly health check on the Capital’s economy published by the city council on their website. You will find data on unemployment, foreign direct investment, business start-ups and much else. This month’s figures, worryingly, show a raft of red numbers. Hotel occupancy, jobs, tourism and investment have all been labelled a “cause for concern”.

Is this the beginning of a downward trend? Only time will tell, but we needn’t feel too pessimistic.

A number of projects are nearing completion or in the pipeline: The Cowgate fire site which has been rebranded SoCo, Caltongate, Haymarket, our two train stations, the new Apple store, as well as investment in a number of gap sites.

And we shouldn’t forget the 
recently announced £850 million investment in the St James Quarter.

Add in the opening of the trams and the feelgood factor is here for Edinburgh. No need to panic yet.

Uphill struggle

Waverley Station has undergone quite a transformation in recent years – and in the main it’s all been for the better.

The station is starting to look like the impressive gateway which the Capital deserves. Key to that has been the work on the Princes Street entrance allowing passengers to whizz up the covered escalator to the Capital’s main thoroughfare in comfort instead of dragging their cases up wind tunnel steps.

When the escalators are working it’s great.

Unfortunately, it seems at least one is out of action for much of the time and regulars users are fed up with it.

Network Rail has today said it is investigating. After all, Waverley is the first impression many people have of us. We don’t want that message to say: out of order.