Plan to plug quality office shortage in capital

Drummond House
Plan involves demolition of Drummond House

One of Edinburgh’s biggest office developments, featuring the largest electric car charging hub in Europe, is planned on the site of former RBS facilities at the Gyle business park. 

The proposal for Edinburgh Green involves demolition of Drummond House, which was sold by the bank last year in 2021 after  more than 2000 staff were relocated to its Gogarburn headquarters.

The neighbouring Younger Building will be refurbished and seven new buildings will be constructed on top of undercroft car parking. 

Edinburgh Green will create more than 800,000 square feet of office space with a range of facilities, including a café/events space and a public park. 

Key to the sustainable development will be almost 800 electric vehicle (EV) charging points, which will be available for community use.  

An initial 170 EV points will be installed, with a further 595 enabled for future use set within the existing site.

Those behind the ambitious development for more than 7,000 employees have promised the plans will be a ‘game changer’ that will set new standards and redefine what a modern, sustainable office accommodation can be in the capital. 

The campus-style environment will have a multi-purpose pavilion surrounded by landscaped grounds and a pond.

Proposed Edinburgh Green offices

The EV points, which will be available to the public at evenings and weekends, will be part of a wider transport mobility hub, including car club access, public transport links and cycle parking. The Energy Superhub Oxford is currently the largest in Europe with about 450 points. 

Edinburgh Green is being brought forward by Shelborn Asset Management, which purchased the site and existing buildings.

The plans have been submitted to Edinburgh City Council and if granted permission, works are expected to begin onsite in the of Summer 2023, opening in 2026.  

Brian Rabinowitz, Director at Shelborn, said: “This is one of the most ambitious office developments to be launched in Edinburgh for decades and our plans for Europe’s largest electric vehicle charging hub is key to meeting our ambitious 2030 net zero target. 

“As Edinburgh’s market continues to grow post-pandemic, public and private sector occupiers are demanding a better-quality workspace which give their employees better places to work.”

A recent report produced by Ryden and CBRE into the Edinburgh office market has found that there is a severe shortage of Grade A offices within the capital with the sustainable credentials that fulfil occupier needs.

This shortage is further highlighted with no new developments currently under construction and no new stock expected to be available before 2024.  

Edinburgh Green also represents a significant investment in West Edinburgh, with substantial and widespread benefits for the city’s economy.

According to analysis by BiGGAR Economics, the development would support an annual economic impact of £370 million GVA and 5,300 jobs in Edinburgh and £427m and 6,480 jobs across Scotland. 

NatWest Group offered the vacant Younger Building to the NHS at no cost as a vaccination centre during the Covid pandemic.

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