EICC plans sustainable hotel as work begins on site

Edinburgh, 28 October 2021.  The EICC is planning for one of Scotland’s most sustainable hotels as work begins on site in the capital following the City of Edinburgh Council rubber stamping the revised business plan for the project this week. 

EICC CEO Marshall Dallas said: “Not only is the hotel integral to the future of the EICC, but we also see it being a key component in the return of business tourism to Edinburgh.  From the very outset, sustainability was near the top of the agenda, it has always been a strong part of our offering as a venue, so we’re pleased to be setting a standard here.”

The City of Edinburgh Council Leader, Adam McVey said: “The refreshed business case, approved today, sets out a robust economic and social case to proceed with this exciting and ambitious development for our capital city. This project strengthens the offer of our publicly-owned EICC and delivers a bright future as conferences return to the city. The establishment of the hotel school will support and benefit our hospitality and tourism sectors by creating employment and training opportunities for local people who can then build a successful career in Edinburgh. This project is another sign of economic confidence in the capital as we recover and build a fairer and greener economy.”

M&G Real Estate is funding the hotel and hotel school, which is being delivered by Qmile Group as part of its £350m Haymarket Edinburgh development.  The EICC will operate the 350-bedroom 4-star hotel under a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation, with the hotel addressing the conference delegate demand issues the EICC has historically faced.

George Gordon, EICC’s Chair, said: “I would like to thank the EICC Executive team, the EICC Board and the City of Edinburgh Council’s officer working group who have worked extremely hard to bring an exciting opportunity and development to the city. The EICC Hotel School which will be run in association with Edinburgh College is an exciting new model of education, training and development which will bring forward a much-needed professional recruits into the industry subsequent to the heavy losses of both Covid-19 and Brexit to the workforce. It will also secure the long-term future of the EICC, a venue that is internationally renowned for its amazing services and facilities which generates much needed kudos and income for the city.”

The hotel is expected to create over 200 jobs and is set to open its doors as early as 2024.  Marshall Dallas added: “Overall, we expect the hotel and hotel school to provide significant job creation and economic benefit to the city – which were some of the positive factors outlined to the City of Edinburgh Council when they reviewed the revised business case.” 

The City of Edinburgh Council Depute Leader, Cammy Day said: “The EICC is integral to our city’s standing in business events and tourism, hosting prominent conferences and speakers in pre-pandemic times such as The Duke of Sussex’ Travalyst or the recently hosted Countdown Summit, powered by TED and Future Stewards. It will also continue to lead by example by paying its hotel staff the real living wage. The decision today paves the way for its continued success and it’s great to now see spades in the ground.”

Councillor Lezley Marion Cameron, EICC Board Director, said: “I warmly welcome the council’s approval of our proposals to operate a unique hotel and hospitality school.  Our plans will play a vital role in supporting Edinburgh’s economic recovery; creating new, well paid and secure jobs; delivering training opportunities for anyone aspiring to work in, or return to, the hospitality industry in Edinburgh and beyond.”

The hotel school and training academy will partner with Edinburgh College, offering a career path for students and trainees and providing a pipeline of qualified people for Scotland’s leisure and tourism industry. The EICC-Edinburgh College partnership forecasts that it will train up to 200 people every year.

Audrey Cumberford MBE, Principal and CEO at Edinburgh College, said: “The hotel training academy is an exciting development for the city, and will help to deliver future skills in the sector, a sector which is in need of a boost following the pandemic.  The vision of the EICC team, along with multiple city partners, means we will be able to build a unique training centre in the heart of Edinburgh, creating a pipeline of talent in the region.”

In September, the EICC welcomed in-person conferences back to the venue when the British Society of Lifestyle Medicine’s annual conference took place, while the month of August saw 14 different shows featured as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2021.  TED’s Countdown Summit took place last week in the run up to COP26, and tech festival Turing Fest is being hosted at the venue in November ahead of SCDI’s 2021 Forum which will see business and political leaders discuss opportunities for positive transformation for Scotland.