Galleria hit

St James Quarter suffers flooding after rainstorm

Edinburgh’s new £1 billion shopping and leisure centre, St James Quarter, was among those hit by flooding over the weekend during a record downpour for the city.

About 11 million litres, or 41 millimetres, of rain were recorded in the space of an hour at the weather station at the Royal Botanic Gardens which had to be closed.

Water cascaded from the roof of the new St James into walkways and retail units causing areas of the new galleria to be cordoned off.

Images on social media sites on Sunday, showed wet floor signs on the ground floor, with floor staff clearing the water with mops.

The new centre opened last month after five years of construction work and is home to some of the biggest names in retail.

The developer said it had not been designed as a traditional enclosed shopping mall, but as part of the city streetscape and was open to the elements in some places.

St James Quarter issued a statement which said: “Due to the severe weather in Edinburgh, parts of the St James Quarter Galleria were cordoned off for safety reasons.

“St James Quarter has been built to fully integrate with the city’s streetscape and is not an enclosed building.

“Whilst St James Quarter has been designed as a naturally ventilated environment and allows some rain to come into the galleria, the extent of water ingress in two sections was mainly caused by severe rainfall testing areas within the second phase of opening which are still under construction.”

A number of areas of the city were hit by the flash floods, including Stockbridge high street, and Chesser, where a number of vehicles were stranded under a bridge. A number of shops on Princes Street were also hit, including Boots which used sandbags to stem the flow of water.

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