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Progress for innovation hub as design team appointed.

The design team has been appointed to take forward the delivery of an innovation hub on land adjacent to Queen Margaret University near Musselburgh.

The Edinburgh Innovation Hub forms part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal, a £1.3 billion regional investment programme funded by the UK and Scottish Governments and regional partners including East Lothian Council. The City Deal’s committee approved the plan in June 2021, with the Hub being funded by £28.6 million from UK Government, £1.4 million from the Scottish Government and £10 million from East Lothian Council.

The purpose of the Hub is to focus on food and drink related innovation within the context of health and wellbeing. The Hub will include serviced laboratories and office accommodation as well as facilities for events. The Hub will also serve as an anchor for the wider Edinburgh Innovation Park (“EIP”), which will be developed over time to create a nationally significant centre of knowledge exchange, innovation and high value business growth.

Construction of the Edinburgh Innovation Hub will commence in the summer of 2023, with completion in 2025.

Design team

The architects and lead designers will be Edinburgh-based Oberlanders Architects – a multi-award-winning architectural practice. Steve Charman, partner at Oberlanders Architects said:

“This is an amazing opportunity to deliver a world class facility to foster innovation and collaboration in the food, drink and health sciences sectors. The new Innovation hub will form a unique and valuable addition to the Edinburgh and the Lothians science & innovation sector.”

WSP have been appointed as Mechanical and Electrical Services Engineers and are one of the world’s leading engineering professional services consultancies and environmental consultants. Director Jack Devlin said:

“WSP are delighted to have been appointed to work with Queen Margaret University and East Lothian Council to provide building services, sustainability, fire engineering and acoustic design services. The quality of the spaces to inspire science will be paramount. Our team are looking forward to working closely with everyone on the project to seamlessly integrate a sustainable MEP design within the architecture. This will help to create a customised, adaptable and inspiring space, that will not only facilitate discovery, but will also help QMU to attract the very best talent.”

Civic Engineers have been appointed as structural, civil and transport engineers. Director Isla Jackson said:

“We’re really pleased to be appointed on the design team as civil, structural and transport engineers for this impressive project which will bring huge benefits for all those who live, work and visit the area. We believe that all our engineering should ultimately have a positive impact on the environment and enable people to lead happier and healthier lives. There’s no doubt that this project seeks to achieve all those things and we’re looking forward to playing our part in helping to make it happen.”

The project and cost manager is Currie & Brown, a physical assets management and construction consultancy driven by innovation.

‘Significant milestone’

Norman Hampshire, Council Leader who is a Director Hub Co Partnership with QMU, said:

“The appointment of the design team is a significant milestone. This is a very exciting project, with great potential, as it will build on East Lothian’s title of Scotland’s Food & Drink County and help us properly support research, innovation and growth in this important sector.

“As we move into the recovery phase of the pandemic and look ahead, this is a tremendous opportunity for East Lothian as it will be a project which can provide a boost in terms of jobs, skills and business development. I look forward to seeing the work of the preliminary design team progress.”

Sir Paul Grice, Principal of Queen Margaret University, said:

“The appointment of the design team for the Hub represents the achievement of yet another important milestone in the creation of Edinburgh Innovation Park. The Hub will greatly increase capacity for research, innovation and growth in the food and drink sector, helping us do more and more to support current and new businesses, in turn delivering sustainable jobs and economic growth.”

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