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Supporting urban regeneration

Published: 28 Feb 2017 09:00

Milestone for SPRUCE fund.

The Scottish Government’s SPRUCE (Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres) fund has been so successful that more money is now available.

The fund initially invested £50 million, in loan form, in regeneration and energy efficiency schemes across Scotland. As those loans are starting to be repaid and some ahead of time, the investment can be recycled and used to deliver further regeneration projects.

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart today announced £8.9 million to support refurbished office space in central Edinburgh.

Visiting the development at Greenside, Mr Stewart said:

“I’m really pleased to be here today to see the work to transform Greenside, perhaps better known in Edinburgh as the former headquarters of Scottish Equitable. When it’s completed it’ll provide modern, innovative and energy efficient offices on a UNESCO heritage site.

“But even before then we will see significant regeneration outcomes - during construction, the project is expected to support 39 apprenticeships and training opportunities. When complete, the building has a capacity to support 425 office jobs for local people.

“What makes this investment so exciting is that the SPRUCE fund has already provided £50 million to regenerate urban areas and it’s been so successful, we have added a further £15m to the pot. SPRUCE loans are now being recycled with the repayments being used to deliver yet more new infrastructure, supporting the economy and jobs and transforming our communities for the better.”

Background

The SPRUCE Fund, which was established with Scottish Government and European Regional Development Fund money, has invested in a range of regeneration and energy efficiency projects across eligible local authority areas in Scotland.

This new investment follows on from the completion of the fund’s £50 million initial investment programme and which is now recycling these funds in to further projects. Funding for this transaction has come from an additional £15m injected into SPRUCE by the Scottish Government in the form of 2016/17 Financial Transactions Capital.

Greenside is being developed by Edinburgh-based real estate company, Chris Stewart Group, to provide 35,000 sq ft of Grade A office accommodation over five floors, with distinctive floor to ceiling glazing. The building, which has been under-used for a number of years, is now part of the dynamic regeneration of the east end of the capital, in close proximity to the St James redevelopment, the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel and the tram route.