A New Sustainable Town Centre in the Heart of West Edinburgh
Edinburgh’s Gyle Shopping Centre (The Gyle) looks set for major transformation with Development Managers Bankfoot APAM announcing consultation on options which represent a radical departure from previous plans to extend the centre. The Gyle was originally opened in 1993 after an investment of £68million. It quickly became one of the most successful shopping destinations in the east of Scotland and was extended soon after.
Previous owners had brought forward plans for small extensions for new retail units and a cinema, but these were rejected last year by the City Council.
Options include a fully refreshed and enhanced retail offer, major new housing and office space on a site that has some of the best public transport links in Scotland and in an area (west Edinburgh) where up to 18,000 new homes are already planned. The concept is to create a new town centre where people will live, work, shop and enjoy their leisure time in one of the most sustainable communities in Scotland. The initial ideas reflect the fact that whilst The Gyle was once at the fringe of Edinburgh, it is now at the heart of one of Scotland’s fastest growing residential and commercial districts.
The options being consulted on include:
- A new community in which people can live, work, shop, rest and play within easy reach of the city centre and countryside
- A renewed and revitalised retail offer with enhanced facilities for click and collect, home delivery and other services
- New homes for families and professionals that bring people to live more closely to their jobs to encourage more public transport use, cycling, and walking
- A new east/west ‘green link’ that provides better and safer walking and cycling facilities and new public green space
- Improved access to the existing Tram, Bus and Rail services that run through and around The Gyle
Commenting on the proposals Chris Moore the Managing Director at Bankfoot APAM said, “When the Gyle was built it was a leading modern shopping destination. However, we are now looking at a new normal that is very different for shopping and living. The creation of a new urban city district will help transform the visitor experience and bring many more new residents, workers and customers to the shops and facilities.
“Increasingly people will travel by public transport and the facilities need to reflect that new normal. We have seen the changes that the new St James development in the city centre is making to people’s shopping experience and our aim is to deliver better and higher quality shopping, rather than just increasing floorspace. We have also studied the quality of the proposals for new homes and offices at the nearby Edinburgh Park.
“Edinburgh is changing, and west Edinburgh is changing faster than almost anywhere in Scotland and our plans must reflect sustainability issues and respond positively to those changes. Looking ahead we should consider how best to serve our customers and meet their growing concerns about the environment. A more balanced community is what is proving to work best.
“We will be consulting local residents and communities on our new vision in the near future, and we look forward to starting the regeneration and revitalisation of The Gyle in a way that makes it an even more special place for many more people. The Gyle can again be one of the finest shopping destinations in the country, but our ambition is to make it one of the finest places to live, work and play as well.”