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Edinburgh's St James project 'on track to open in 2020'

Demolition of the old building in the heart of the city was completed earlier this year.

Developers of the Edinburgh St James project say the new retail centre is on track to open in October 2020.

Work on the new building has caused travel disruption in the centre of Edinburgh since 2016.

This week, the developers behind the project launched a skills academy aimed at training young people for the estimated 3000 jobs created by the new centre.

Demolition work on the old building, which was branded one of the ugliest in the city, was completed earlier this year.

Plans: Shopping, leisure facilities and apartments on offer.
Plans: Shopping, leisure facilities and apartments on offer. © Jestico + Whiles

Martin Perry, project director at Edinburgh St James, said the retail and leisure complex will open at the £850m development in October 2020, while an accompanying hotel will open in 2021.

There will also be 150 high-end apartments on offer at the development.

The skills academy, called Fuse, will open in 2019. It aims to provide high quality training for the businesses which will set up in the centre.

Mr Perry said: "Working with partners across the city, we are providing a world-class skills, training and employment academy to meet the industry's needs for a leading workforce across both retail and hospitality.

"Fuse will have a strong international outlook and work to build relationships with world-leading centres elsewhere to share learning and insights about creating world-class customer care and a highly appealing retail and hospitality environment."

The Scottish Government's economy secretary Keith Brown said: "Scotland is world renowned for the warmth of our welcome and the quality of our hospitality, and the Fuse academy will certainly support this.

"I look forward to seeing Fuse take shape, along with the wider Edinburgh St James development, driving skills development, training and work experience opportunities, preparing candidates for employment within the hospitality and retail sector."

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