Be part of Edinburgh's future

Those helping to improve and develop Edinburgh’s city centre have had a lot to shout about recently.

The launch of the Atria, the Grade A office development on Morrison Street, the newly refurbished Edinburgh International Conference Centre opening its doors and the announcement of the £15 million air route development fund by Edinburgh Airport are just are few major achievements I can think of off the top of my head.

Recent research also shows that with the exception of London, Edinburgh is the most prosperous city in the UK, attracts the greatest amount of foreign direct investment and remains a major international financial centre. This all illustrates that Edinburgh has been remarkably resilient in these austere times and that we are doing a lot of things right.

We are also starting to get some good news regarding the progress of the tram project so we need to turn our attention to what type of city centre we want once the trams are fully operational.

The City of Edinburgh Council is currently undertaking a consultation on what type of city centre residents and the businesses of Edinburgh want. Both Princes Street and George Street are iconic thoroughfares with some of city’s most spectacular views, a fantastic retail offering and top quality bars and restaurants.  But we could certainly be making more of these historic streets.

There has long been a desire to make the city centre more pedestrian and cycle friendly, create more events space that will drive footfall and help accommodate the 3.5 million visitors Edinburgh welcomes every year. However we need to balance this with the need for robust consideration for our transport needs and how our award winning bus operators can function effectively and efficiently.

The council cannot, and should not, do this on its own. It is imperative that businesses across the city input into the plans being put forward so that we can create a city centre that works for businesses, residents and visitors.  Please give your feedback to the plans which can be found here.

Hugh Rutherford,

Chair of the Edinburgh Business Forum

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