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Thursday, July 06, 2023

EDI's Tron project wins RICS Scotland Regeneration Award

A project that has breathed new life and brought nearly 100 jobs into a city block of Edinburgh's Old Town, has won a prestigious national award.

EDI's Tron project has won the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Scotland Regeneration award for 2006, against competition from across Scotland. Now the Tron project will be entered into the worldwide final of the RICS awards to be held in London in October.

The project, which took 10 years to complete, has seen an entire block rejuvenated thanks to a 15m regeneration programme, led by EDI. A key aim has been to bring back life to the traditional streets and closes, re-establishing them as public thoroughfares and places for people to live, work and enjoy themselves.

The RICS award recognises excellence in the built environment. The judging panel said that the Tron area had "successfully achieved its aim of bringing real and active use to traditional streets and closes while interweaving historic and new buildings."

Led by The EDI Group, the Tron regeneration was delivered with the help of partners including The Burrell Company, Scottish Enterprise, The City of Edinburgh Council, Castle Rock Edinvar Housing Association and the Tron Square residents.

Described as "the biggest intervention in the fabric of the Old Town since Patrick Geddes", the Tron regeneration has successfully combined a range of imaginative new buildings with old, including refurbished listed buildings.

Comprising modern apartments, both social housing and apartments for sale, new offices and shops, new restaurants, refurbished District Courts, a new hotel and a purpose-built nursery, the Tron project has increased the number of people living in the Old Town and acted as a catalyst for more than 100 new jobs.

Graeme Hartley, Director of RICS Scotland, said: "Bringing together a number of agencies, community groups and commercial interests to develop a way forward was no mean feat, but this co-ordination was vital to the success of the project. The result is a vibrant space that meets modern requirements but has retained the character and charm of Edinburgh's Old Town.

"The fact that the Tron project created jobs shows that successful regeneration can have a positive impact on lives as well as buildings. It is a great credit to all those involved and proves that it is possible to incorporate new development into an historic setting."

Ian Wall, Chief Executive of EDI, said: "Regeneration is about much more than bricks and mortar and it's also about being there for the long haul: we believe this project clearly illustrates those points. It also demonstrates the tenacity of our team and partners in overcoming legal, financial and physical hurdles to deliver a series of commercially successful projects.

"As important, we have helped to bring people back into a semi abandoned quarter of the Old Town. People now live, work, eat and play in the old closes off the High Street. Hunter Square is busy all year round and, at Festival time, provides a popular outdoor performance space."

The judges of the RICS Scotland awards also praised the team's abilities to deliver a project that involved a number of agencies and partners within a historic and challenging site.

The topography of the Old Town means the sites are steeply sloping along the closes off the Royal Mile, bringing their own technical challenges. The buildings to be converted were all listed from the 18th and 19th century, while the new build sites faced archaeological digs before construction could start. Two of the development sites had severe access restrictions through medieval wynds and pends, so construction materials were carried in by hand.