Edinburgh International Conference Centre gets green light for 'pioneering hotel and hotel school'

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has been given the green light for a new 362-bedroom, four-star hotel and hotel school.

The development would be located in the Haymarket area of city and operate under a franchise agreement with Hyatt Hotels Corporation.

It is anticipated that the development, funded by M&G Real Estate and developed by QMile Group, will take the venue to “the next level on UK and international terms” and provide “significant” job creation and economic benefits for the city.

Marshall Dallas, chief executive of the EICC, said: “We know the events industry is experiencing a skills gap that is only becoming more of an issue.

“The hotel and hotel school will go some way to alleviating that challenge while putting the EICC on an even stronger foot and keeping the venue at the forefront of Scotland’s overall proposition when it comes to business tourism.”

The hotel school and training academy, an integral part of the development, will “address recruitment faced by the hospitality industry in Scotland” by offering courses from NVQ level through to undergraduate and postgraduate degree curriculum. It will also work closely with national bodies, including the Scottish Tourism Alliance and VisitScotland.

Audrey Cumberford, principal and chief executive at Edinburgh College, which has already signed up as the college partner to the hotel school, said: “The hotel training academy creates a unique opportunity to lead on the delivery of future skills in the sector via a new model for industry-education collaboration and delivery. Importantly, the initiative enables us to create a pipeline of talent which speaks to key drivers for enterprise and skills development in the region.”

A model of the Haymarket Edinburgh development
A model of the Haymarket Edinburgh development

The EICC claims it has historically lost business due to an insufficient number of rooms for delegates.

Owned by the City of Edinburgh Council, the EICC opened in 1995 with the remit to drive economic impact to the city. It has since helped to deliver £660m to the local economy while hosting around 1.5 million delegates and over 3,000 events.

Jennie Milsom