More money available for SPRUCE urban regeneration fund

SPRUCE EdinburghA Scottish Government fund which provides loans for urban regeneration projects has been extended with the announcement of £8.9 million to support refurbished office space in central Edinburgh.

The SPRUCE Fund (Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres) initially invested loans totalling £50 million in support of 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.

The office development at 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.

Blenheim House
Blenheim House

The building, which has been under-used for a number of years, is now part of the 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.

Visiting the development today, housing minister Kevin 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 £50m 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.”

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