New A1 junction at QMU officially opened

New A1 junction at QMU officially opened

A major civil engineering project to create a new junction off the A1 at Queen Margaret University (QMU) has been completed and officially opened.

The project includes new northbound on and off slip-roads to the A1 which each meet a newly constructed roundabout, providing vastly improved access to the future development area around QMU, along with a link road which passes underneath the A1 to link to the existing southbound on and off slip-roads.

Cabinet spokesperson for environment, economic development and tourism, Councillor John McMillan, said: “I was very pleased to attend the official opening of this new junction today and to meet the key people involved in delivering this project. The junction provides critical infrastructure to improve accessibility and connectivity to QMU which, in partnership with East Lothian Council, is working to deliver the Edinburgh Innovation Hub adjacent to the university – phase one of a wider Edinburgh Innovation Park.

“Despite the well-known pressures within the construction industry globally, the supply chain impact due to the war in the Ukraine and of course our unpredictable Scottish weather, it is a fantastic achievement that this project has been completed and delivered to such a high standard.”

The Edinburgh Innovation Hub, which already has planning permission in principle, is currently the subject of a full detailed application. The Hub will focus on important high growth sectors with specialist needs, including the food and drink sector, supporting innovative start-ups and small to medium sized businesses, delivering a specialist service for research and business development.

The design, build and operation of the Hub is being managed by a joint venture between QMU and East Lothian Council. It is supported by £28.6 million from the UK Government, £1.4m from the Scottish Government and £10m from East Lothian Council as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

Participating in the opening ceremony, Professor Richard Butt, deputy principal of QMU, said: “On behalf of the University, I would like to express our sincere thanks to all those involved in the construction of the new junction. Its completion is a significant achievement, the benefits of which include enabling the planned development of the Edinburgh Innovation Park. The junction will be of enormous benefit to the QMU community and all those who live and work around the area. The improved access to the area around the campus supports fulfilment of QMU’s vision of driving economic development and adding to the vibrancy of the local area.”

Scottish Government wellbeing economy secretary Neil Gray, commented: “I welcome progress in developing access to the site of the Edinburgh Innovation Hub at Queen Margaret University, which will be delivered as part of the Scottish and UK Government-funded Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. Focusing on the food and drink sector, the Hub will support start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses in line with the aims of our National Strategy for Economic Transformation.”

Civil engineering director for John Paul Construction, Henry Scanlon, said: “John Paul Construction is proud to have successfully delivered this critical piece of infrastructure for our Client, East Lothian Council. We would like to acknowledge and thank ELC and Amey Project Management Staff, our supply chain (sub-contractors and suppliers) and QMU management for their support during construction to enable the successful delivery of the new A1 Junction at QMU”.

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