Procurement begins for Edinburgh’s health innovation district

Edinburgh BioQuarter has formally launched the public procurement process for the £1bn (estimated gross development value) district, which is designed to create jobs, homes and with a community. BioQuarter, which sits three miles south of Edinburgh city centre is expected to be worth around £140m a year to the Scottish economy during the next decade, employing almost 13,000 people and supporting more than 200 health innovation companies.

Over the lifetime of the development, there is the potential to grow to a health innovation community of 20,000 with 2,500 residential units on site. BioQuarter is expected to receive £550m of discounted capital investment, supporting 4,310 jobs in construction and contributing £270m gross, cumulative, discounted construction impact to Scottish GVA.

EBQ3 Ltd has been formed between the City of Edinburgh Council, regional development agency Scottish Enterprise and the University of Edinburgh to lead the procurement of a private partner for the proposed strategic joint venture partnership. The public sector led programme also includes major stakeholder NHS Lothian, which has its two acute hospitals based on site.

The 167-site is already home to health innovation businesses based at its innovation centre Nine. Edinburgh Medical School, many of the University of Edinburgh’s medical research institutes and the 900 bed Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. It also includes the new home of the Usher Institute for data driven health and social care innovation which is set to open in 2023. The land available for development extends to approximately 64 acres.

Ivan McKee, Scottish government minister for business, trade, tourism and enterprise said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one of the most exciting investment and collaborative opportunities with far-reaching benefits for investors, local communities and global health innovators alike. It shows that Scotland is very much open for business”.

“With the commitment of its public sector partners, BioQuarter has had over £600m public capital investment, with even further investment planned by them over the next five years. It has played a key role in Scotland’s successes in the life science sector, which has a turnover of £6.5bn and also employs over 41,000 people. A private sector partner will help deliver a globally significant health innovation community of researchers, academics and clinicians and will continue to encourage entrepreneurship, supporting as many as 200 new companies”