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Retail spectacular

Light show starts countdown to St James opening

Light fantastic: the ribbon building dazzled

Edinburgh’s skyline was filled with an array of dazzling light as the countdown began to the opening of the St James Quarter.

The first phase of the £1.7 billion fashion, food and residential district hopes to inject a new feelgood factor into the city with new brands among the big name offerings.

The opening on 24 June follows a wretched year for the retail, hospitality and cultural sectors and St James aims to be a hub for all three, not least through long-term partnerships with Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Edinburgh Jazz & Blues and the Edinburgh Science Festivals.

Over 500 light fixtures were placed around the ribbon building with accompanying projections and a soundtrack featuring local sound designer, Keith Fortune.

Mick Hay from The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo took centre stage, 55m meters from the ground, conducting the soundtrack with the unmistakable sounds of the drums, as lasers of light travelled across the city in all directions.

Rochelle Weir, Brand and Marketing Director at St James Quarter, said: “As we near the opening of phase one, the anticipation around the city is palpable.

“We wanted to bring this feeling to life, connecting with other landmarks, businesses, and partners across the city to mark our opening and cement our place on the iconic Edinburgh skyline.

“Our phase one opening is a significant moment in Edinburgh’s history, and we’re incredibly excited for the people of Edinburgh and beyond to see what lies behind the quarter. Last night’s display was just the beginning.”

Comprising 850,000 sq ft of retail space, St James Quarter will complement the luxury shopping offer of neighbouring retailer Harvey Nichols, which anchors the premium shopping street of Multrees Walk.

Completing the city centre’s retail circuit, it will also be home to John Lewis, an Everyman Cinema, a mix of restaurants, cafés and bars, Scotland’s first W Hotel – which includes 244 and an AWAY® Spa – aparthotel brand Roomzzz, Eidyn residences that will provide 152 premium apartments, nine public squares and 1,600 car parking spaces.

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