Site Visit – St James Quarter, Edinburgh

Contract Scotland Senior Consultants David Brunton & Jamie Porter enjoyed a day out in Edinburgh visiting what is to become one of the largest construction projects in the country, the new St James Quarter commercial development.

At Contract Scotland, we seek to work closely with our construction industry partners and visiting live construction projects enables us to get a true sense of the working environment we ultimately place people within. The project is yet to get fully underway but the boys were keen to make an early start and visit our contacts within Laing O’Rourke currently engaged in an extensive enabling works programme.

A staggering engineering challenge lies ahead to deliver such a complex project in a busy city centre environment. It’s difficult to fully grasp the extent of this challenge until you get up close to the site. The current enabling works package will involve complex demolition works package which will take place close to live retail environments. A whole manner of temporary works and complex piling & foundation works will follow, programmed carefully to allow surrounding retail outlets to continue trade. It’s a high-risk endeavour but the results, as seen in architect’s drawings, will be breath-taking and will give the historic heart of the country’s capital a modern feel.

Laing O’Rourke have deservedly attracted praise in recent years for pioneering new, innovative engineering solutions and providing the main contract is successfully signed off, they will undoubtedly continue to apply this approach in the delivery of the new St James Centre.

The project is a welcome addition to the slew of major construction projects going on in Scotland at present. The completion of the Edinburgh Trams project has opened up a range of development opportunities within the city. Landmark areas are now being developed into much needed new build mixed use schemes, with the most notable schemes being Standard Lifes St Andrews Square development, Tiger Developments at Haymarket, Carltongate’s massive redevelopment scheme, Edinburgh Sick Kids and the ongoing Quartermile Development. Edinburgh will continue to need further investment in new office space to meet the growing demand and aid further economic development. The construction industry will play a key role in providing affordable solutions to the developers involved

From a recruitment perspective, the demand for engineering talent remains incredibly high and Contract Scotland continue to look at innovative ways to support our clients in bridging the skills gap. Whether it be our recent endeavours in Europe or our efforts to attract construction professionals back from Australia, New Zealand or the Middle East, we strive to find the most talented staff possible for our clients.

If you have any recruitment needs at present or wish to discuss your own career prospects please don’t hesitate to contact us. For civil engineering opportunities please email or main build contracting email

Site Visit - St James Quarter, Edinburgh
Posted by Jamie Porter
4th April, 2016
Get in touch with Jamie Porter