• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Carbuncle no more

A CARBUNCLE can be defined as an abscess that is larger than a boil.

The St James Centre, Edinburgh's "concrete carbuncle", is a very large boil indeed, and it is good that it is at long last to be lanced.

Opened in 1973, the capital's ugliest building has never been much loved. Only a decade into its unhappy life, The Buildings of Scotland, an architectural reference book, criticised its "huge intrusive bulk" and its "callously blank backside" on the Leith Walk side. A senior city councillor once even suggested it should be blown up.

Such drastic measures have been avoided, but demolition finally beckons. Planning permission for plans to replace the centre with a state-of-the-art development, including hotels, restaur­ants, offices and flats, was granted as long as 2009, but delay has been piled upon delay. Now, though, thanks partly to a £61m investment from the taxpayer through the Regen­eration Accelerator Model, work on the £850m St James Quarter is to start next year, with a targeted completion date of 2021.

The St James Quarter is expected to contribute 2300 permanent jobs and £25m a year to the Scottish economy. Its arrival will also bring a huge sense of relief.

Contextual targeting label: 
Local government

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.