Princes Street, Edinburgh


Welcome to February’s bumper edition of Essential


Although footfall fell slightly in comparison to January last year, hotel

occupancy, retail sales and hospitality income all rose on the same period

from 2015.

Dr Mark Robertson’s insightful analysis of the current market in Edinburgh

makes fascinating reading, highlighting the positive uplift in retail and

commercial investment in the city centre. Major projects such as those at

Edinburgh St James, West Register, Standard Life on St Andrew Square

and Premier Inn’s rapid expansion throughout the city have complemented

a number of retailers committing to new space throughout the city centre.

There is no doubt that investor confidence in our city centre is very strong.

This year’s visitor survey also makes fascinating reading, especially in that

spend per visitor is on the rise by just over 3% with the largest increase in

hospitality sales, reflecting the increase in spend in this area by residents.

It was also interesting to note that over 50% of visitors to the city were from

outside the UK.

The information contained in this report

is reliant on our city centre partners

reporting monthly figures to us and can

I take this opportunity on thanking them

for providing this vital information.

Roddy Smith

Chief Executive


Hotel Occupancy Page 3

Footfall Page 5

Sales Monitors Page 13

EE Project update Page 15

Crime Statistics Page 16

Edinburgh Visitors

Survey Page 18

Ryden Page 26

Parking Page 29

Convention Bureau Page 32

Edinburgh Airport Page 34


Edinburgh Hotels Data for January 2016

The latest available data for January 2016 from STR Global

shows that 59.6% of rooms were occupied in Edinburgh

during the month. The average daily rate for rooms

sold was £63.77 whilst the revenue averaged across all

available rooms was £38.00. This is based on a sample of

101 hotels totalling 10,653 rooms in Edinburgh.

The latest data for January 2016

shows that both occupancy and

revenue per room was higher than

the last two years.

The occupancy rate in January 2016

was 59.6%, in 2015 was 57.7%, and

the rate in January 2014 was 57.3%.

Revenue per available room

increased in cash terms by 5% on

last year from £36.2 to £38.0.

Comparing the last three years, a

pattern can be seen with peaks in

August for revenue per room and

dips in January for occupancy and

revenue per room.

Looking at the year from April 2015

to January 2016 Edinburgh has had

consistently higher occupancy

figures than the comparator cities.



Edinburgh footfall index

Edinburgh footfall figures for January 2016 are down by

-34.3% compared to December 2015, and down by -0.7%

compared to January 2015.

Princes Street was the busiest spot in the city centre with 872,446 people

counted during January 2016, the last month in which figures are available.

This represents a very small decrease of 0.5% on January 2015.

Monthly pedestrian numbers in the city centre follow an annual trend. They

increase to their highest level of the year in August and fall to the lowest

monthly totals during January and February before starting to increase again

over spring and into the summer months.

As expected there was a decrease of 37.9% between December 2015 and

January 2016, this is a around the same decrease that the month on month

trend witnessed last year which was footfall on Princes Street declined by

33.5% between December 2014 and January 2015. The tables below show

footfall in the City Centre and a breakdown by counter area. The daily

information for the previous month is also presented in the charts.

The UK footfall Index shows a decrease of 22.5% between December 2015

and January 2016, and increased by 2.9% compared to January 2016.


Helen Dickinson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said:

“The improvement in shopper footfall witnessed in January provided a timely

and welcome fillip to retailers at the start of the year, with retail parks once

again recording a stellar performance. Indeed, this was the best overall

footfall performance

for two years, and well

ahead of the

three-month average.

The further reduction

in the shop vacancy

rate is encouraging,

more so against a

backdrop in which

online retailing is

becoming increasingly






Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area

In January 2016 annual comparable footfall is down by

0.8% in the city centre on last year, with a larger decrease

in footfall during the evening period.

Compared to last year footfall

has shown an overall decrease

in January 2016. This hides a lot

of variation which we can see by

breaking the day down into three

periods: morning; core retail hours;

and evening hours. The most

noticeable change in January was

the 3.0% decrease in the evening

hours. The core retail period this

January was only 0.2% lower than

last year, and the early morning

period decreased by 2.2%.

The chart on page 11 shows the

change in footfall over four different

three hour periods. Around nine out

of every ten visitors in the city centre

are recorded over this 12 hour

period. The largest change in footfall

in the city centre compared to last

year occurred in evening period


after 5pm where footfall decreased

by 4.8%.

The change this January compared

to last year shows a decrease in

footfall numbers across most 4

hour interval periods. In the time

period after 8am footfall decreased

by 1.3%, between 11am and 2pm

footfall increased by 1.4%. The after

2pm time period decreased by

0.7% compared to last year and the

largest decrease occurred in the

after 5pm time period, as mentioned


Note: BID area annual comparison includes counter locations: FCUK Frederick Street;

Jenners Rose Street; M&S Princes Street; Natwest George Street; Tiso Rose Street; and

South St Andrew Street.


Day and night time pedestrian traffic in the

Essential Edinburgh BID area cont...


Sales Monitors for January 2016

Edinburgh retail sales were up a solid 8.7% in January

2016 compared to this month in 2015. This means that

Edinburgh’s retailers performed better than their Scottish

and rest of the UK peers as the Scottish average fell by

3.8% on a year earlier; in the entire UK sales were up


Retailers participating in the Retail

Monitoring Programme reported

these figures for January 2016.

The figures for Edinburgh are based

on a sample of city centre retailers.

The majority of them taking part

reported positive year-on-year

growth; some bigger department

stores were trading especially well

which indicates that the January

sales season was very successful

for most. The figures for Scotland

and the UK were reported from the

BRC-KPMG Retail Sales Monitor

and the BRC Scottish Retail Sales


Hospitality businesses that take part

in the Hospitality Monitoring

Programme reported an increase in

sales of 13.0%.

Roddy Smith, Chief Executive of

Essential Edinburgh, said: “Following

a disappointing Christmas trading

period for Edinburgh’s retailers, a

3.7% rise in sales will come as a

welcome boost to the sector.”

David McCorquodale, Head of Retail

at KPMG, commenting on the

Scottish figures said: “Storms

battered the Scottish high streets in

January, resulting in the weakest

performance for some time and a

washout to start 2016.

“With the month producing 145% of

average rainfall and only 63% of


average sunshine, it was one of the

wettest and dullest Januarys for a


Helen Dickinson, Director General of

the British Retail Consortium,

commenting on the UK total sales

figures said “Following on from a

somewhat disappointing Christmas

period for retailers, the new year

kicked off to a strong start.

“The further reduction in the shop

vacancy rate is encouraging, more

so against a backdrop in which

online retailing is becoming

increasingly popular. However, the

fact remains that one in every eleven

retail premises in our town centres

lies empty.”

You are sent this information before publication in Essential Trends

if you agree to participate in the City Centre Monitoring Project. For

more information about how to participate in the Tunover

Monitoring Project please contact Tom Mathar, Research Manager

at LJ Research, who manage this project on our behalf: Tom@ or 0131 623 6217.


Essential Edinburgh Project Updates

Edinburgh Fashion Week 2016

Award winning Edinburgh Fashion

Week (EFW) is returning in March

2016 after being crowned Best In-

House Event at The Scottish Events

Awards 2015. The second annual

Edinburgh Fashion Week will take

place from Saturday 5th – Sunday

13th March 2016. The launch

weekend event will be situated at the

Mound precinct, beside the National


The launch weekend of fashion

shows will bring together the Spring/

Summer 2016 season’s clothing

from chic boutiques and high street

heroes for shoppers and fashion

connoisseurs to view. All show

attendees will be given an exclusive

Edinburgh Fashion Week shopping

discount card to help them recreate

their favourite looks from

the weekend. This fashion focused

event on the mound will also include

exhibitions and retail pop-ups, as

well as hosting an exciting food and

drink offering. This will be followed

by a week long retail promotion

across the city.

This year our official charity partner is Walk the Walk, and we will

close our opening day with a fashion show and auction featuring

celebrity designed and signed bras. All proceeds will go to The

MoonWalk Scotland.


Crime Statistics

By PI Croft, Police Scotland, based at the West End Police


Theft House Breaking (Non – Domestic) (including attempts)

For the period 1st April to 31st December 2015 theft house breaking figures

are 24% higher than last year to date, this amounts to 24 more crimes. It

should be noted however that non-domestic premises includes business and

retail premises as well as garden sheds and outhouses.

Theft HB remains a priority for Police Scotland, and Edinburgh Division, with

the dedicated Operation RAC team providing an analytical and specialist

overview. The formation of this dedicated unit continues to have positive

impact in terms of detection and early identification of offenders, as well as

crime prevention.

Common Theft & Theft by Shoplifting

There were 207 less recorded crimes pertaining to common theft in this

period - a healthy 16% reduction. Theft Shoplifting however increased by 16%

with a further 130 reports being submitted. A contributory factor could be the

increased number of local supermarkets now operating in the City Centre.

Detection rates remain similar to that of last year.

The sharing information scheme involving retailers, Check Out, continues

to prove valuable allowing early detections especially involving travelling

criminals who target our capital city.

A number of individuals have been reported for offences committed against

hotels, gyms and from the person where they were subject to pickpocket


During the year has seen the successful launch of ‘Gold Watch’ a bespoke

information sharing protocol involving our jewellery retailers.

Officers will continue to work with partners to deter and reduce offenders.

Minor & Serious assault

Both serious and minor assaults have shown an increase, however the overall

detection rate has continued to improve. Of note, the solvency rate in relation

to serious assaults has shown an improvement of almost 18%.

Last year we maintained our enhanced policing detail within the City Centre


during weekend periods, specifically dedicated to respond to the nighttime

economy. Our Licensing Officer worked with local licensed premises

and partner agencies in order to deter alcohol related disorder and related


We continue to use ‘Think Twice’ bail conditions to ensure those committing

crime linked to the night time economy are excluded from all city centre

drinking venues until their cases are heard. This has been very successful;

last year 196 bail conditions were issued, 4 persons identified breaching bail

conditions, and 2 repeat offenders were identified.


Within the period there were 31 robberies, with a solvency of 77.4%, this is on

par with previous years, compared with the 5-year average of 40. Edinburgh

still remains a very safe city in which to work, live and visit, and it should be

noted that the majority of our violent and anti social crime is as a result of our

varied and vast night-time economy. We will continue to work with partners to

address this, in addition to our other multi-membership ward priorities.

Initiatives & Events

During the months of June, July and August every year, Edinburgh plays host

to a number of International Festivals, greatly increasing the footfall within the

city centre area. Operation Festival 2015 was this years’ policing response to

these festivals, where colleagues from other areas in Police Scotland assisted

local officers in providing a dedicated professional and effective policing

response. A dedicated Policing team was also put in place this year for

Edinburgh’s winter festivities, which are growing year on year.

Last year saw a number of protests and demonstrations within the city

centre, often occurring with little or no notice. Our local officers, assisted by

colleagues from across the division, were involved in policing these events;

providing a lawful and proportionate response to the protest, balancing the

rights of protestors with those impacted by the protest, with minimal disruption

to the city centre.

2015 saw the introduction of 9 Council Funded Officers to the City Centre

Ward. These officers continue to work closely with key partners, through the

local Community Improvement Partnership, to find effective solutions to the

issues identified, by the public, as local priorities. The four priorities identified

in the Multi-Membership Ward Plan for the City Centre are: Assault and

Violent Crime; Drug Abuse and Drug Dealing; Drunk or Antisocial Behaviour;

Housebreaking and Theft.


Edinburgh Visitor Survey - Quarter 4 results

According to respondents to the Edinburgh Visitor’s

Survey, an ongoing survey conducted by LJ Research on

behalf of Essential Edinburgh, tourists who expressed a

preference said that the BID area managed by Essential

Edinburgh outperforms the rest of the city centre with

regards to: the quality of shops, restaurants and bars;

signage; cleanliness and access by public transport.

However, tourists say that parking facilities and ease of

access by car were worse than the rest of the city.

Visitors to the New Town were

asked about their experience of

the BID area compared to other

areas of the city. As illustrated in

the chart on page 20, the quality

of shops, bars, restaurants and

cafes were rated higher than other

areas of the city. Similarly, visitors

found that it was easier to access

the New Town’s Bid Area using

buses and trains. Respondents

also noted, however, that it was

easier to access other parts of

Edinburgh and find a parking bay

there than it is in the BID. This

is unsurprising considering the

infrastructure restrictions in the

BID area.

The table on this page shows how

much Edinburgh visitors spend on

different aspects of their trip. Overall

visitor expenditure has gone up by

3.1% in Q4 2015 compared to this

quarter in 2014. The Chart illustrates

that visitors’ spending patterns

have not changed hugely: it seems,

however, that in Q4 2015 visitors

were more prepared to spend on

experiences (both eating & drinking

as well as entertainment spend

was up). Staying visitors spent less

on travel and transport in Q4 2015

compared to this quarter in 2015.


The chart on the following page

provide information on visitors’

experience of the New Town / BID

area compared to other areas in the

city. Please note that the majority of

respondents without a strong opinion

were discounted.

The Edinburgh Visitor survey asks

tourists encountered in the New

Town how they perceive the BID area

compared to the rest of the city in

order to help Essential Edinburgh

gauge their progress.


Although many respondents stated

that they did not see a difference

between the BID and the city overall

in terms of the categories listed in

the chart, it is interesting to

investigate where the BID

outperforms the rest of the city; and

vice versa. The results are presented

in the chart below.

Taken as a whole, the findings

suggest that the area managed by

Essential Edinburgh does perform

very well in terms of the quality of

shopping on offer as well as the

restaurants and pubs / bars that are

within the area. Visitors to the New

Town are more likely to say that

cleanliness, safety and signage are

better in the BID area compared to

the city overall. The same applies to

public transport where 95% of

Edinburgh visitors think that the BID

area is easier to access than the rest

of the city.

As in previous year, the BID area is

perceived to do less well in terms of

parking facilities and ease of access

by car – the physical layout of

Edinburgh’s city centre continues to

be a challenge in this respect.


Edinburgh Visitor Survey 2015 Results

In 2015, LJ Research interviewed 1,250 Edinburgh tourists

encountered in the New Town to assess their profiles,

reasons to visit, activities undertaken, satisfaction scores

and expenditure patterns.

2015 has been another successful

year for Edinburgh’s tourism industry

with annual hotel occupancy rates at

83% on average and an average

daily rate of £101.65. These are

modest year-on-year growth figures

in nominal terms that, however, are

impressive considering that there

were significantly more beds

available to tourists in 2015

compared to previous years.

Visitors to the city do of course

engage in various activities – not

only sightseeing. They are

contributing significantly to the city’s

retail and hospitality industry and, as

such, an important market to

understand and satisfy. That’s why

Essential Edinburgh commissioned

LJ Research to interview visitors to

the BID area to understand who they

are; why they come; what they do;

what they like; and how much they


As illustrated in the chart below, the

vast majority of visitors come to

Edinburgh for its history and the

Castle. This suggests that a


Edinburgh Visitor Survey 2015 Results cont...

traditional Scottish experience will

appeal to visitors and, as such,

retailers and restaurateurs might

want to consider that Tartan and

Tweed, Burns Banquettes and

Whisky that are likely to correspond

with the visiting audiences.

Whilst many reasons to visit are on

par with the previous years, it is

interesting to note that in 2015 there

was a higher proportion of visitors

who came because of Edinburgh’s

pubs / bars and restaurants!

We asked visitors to the New Town

which activities they have undertaken

on their trip. The first chart on page

23 illustrates that 9 out of 10 are

simply “walking around the city”. This

is seemingly banal but actually

important: only when they walk

around the city will they contribute to

our footfall figures and,

consequentially, can visitors

encounter the shops, cafes and


Some 3 out of 4 visitors to the New

Town are here to shop; almost the

same proportion go to restaurants;

only slightly fewer of them also go to

pubs and bars. The chart illustrates

that the BID Area benefits from visitor

attractions such as the National

Portrait Gallery, Scott’s Monument

and the National Galleries of

Scotland as visiting attractions,

museums and galleries are activities

visitors to the city frequently


Promisingly, Edinburgh continues to

deliver customer service at a high

standard – that’s at least what visitors

tell us. Visitors to the New Town rated

the customer service at visitor

attractions especially highly; they

were least likely to give highest

scores to shops which is perhaps an

area of concern. However, qualitative

feedback does not hint at poor

customer service as such. It may be

that the problems relate to opening


Very encouragingly, the chart

summarising visitors’ expenditures on

page 24 shows green arrows pointing

upwards only. Visitors spent

significantly more per person / per

day on accommodation and

entertainment; it also seems,

however, that in 2015 visitors had

more appetite to spend in pubs / bars

and restaurants; and their shopping

bags were fuller as spend on this

category has increased, too.



Edinburgh Visitor Survey 2015 cont...

Visitor Profile: Who are the tourists visiting the New Town

Edinburgh visitors coming to

the New Town are from

overseas and the UK in almost

equal measure: as illustrated in

the charts on page 25, 51% are

from overseas (incl. 3% from

Ireland) and 49% are from the

UK. There is an increasing

proportion of overseas visitors

stemming from North America

(i.e. USA and Canada). Visitors

from further “Distant Cousin”

markets – Australia and New

Zealand – make up another

10% of all overseas visitors.

The increasingly international

profile of Edinburgh visitors is

widely debated in the local

tourism industry; a recent focus

has shifted on China – the

fastest growing inbound

tourism market for the UK. But

other cultures who may be

more prevalent in Edinburgh

must not be forgotten:

importantly for example, there

is a high number of visitors

from Muslim countries – e.g. Turkey,

Middle Eastern countries, Indonesia

– and some of them mentioned lack

of Muslim friendly hospitality in

Edinburgh. As such, hospitality

businesses might want to consider

more non-alcohol and non-pork

options and hoteliers might want to

ensure religious programmes are

broadcast in their TV channels.

The majority of visitors are under 35

years old – see chart on the following

page. It may be that Edinburgh visitors

encountered in the New Town are

slightly younger than the average of

Edinburgh visitors.



Market Review

By Dr Mark Robertson, Partner, Ryden

Edinburgh city centre continues to attract retail and

commercial investment, despite wider challenges facing

the market. These challenges include online competition,

and a very slow recovery in retailer demand which is yet to

reflect improving consumer expenditure. Real wages are

rising and retail sales in Scotland grew by 1% during the

third quarter of 2015, and by 4% on an annual basis.

The city centre’s largest investment

in a generation, Edinburgh St

James, is underway. TH Real

Estate’s £850 million redevelopment

of the St James Centre secured

planning consent during Summer

2015. Site enabling works began

in January 2016 and closure of the

existing centre to allow demolition is

scheduled for Spring 2016. Anchor

tenant John Lewis Partnership will

continue to trade throughout the

redevelopment. The developer

anticipates that the new centre

comprising more than 93,000

sq.m. of shopping, leisure, hotel

and residential accommodation

will extend Edinburgh’s shopper

catchment by 20% and promote the

city’s retail sector from its current

UK rank of 13th, to 8th place. Some

existing occupiers of the St James

Centre are anticipated to open in

alternative city centre locations,

potentially with tenant-only lease

break options for those larger

retailers which are planning to

relocate back into the new centre in


improved accommodation.

Market activity in 2015 and moving

into 2016 is focused on the core New

Town retail grid between George

Street and Princes Street.

Jewellers Laing has just relocated

its flagship store from Frederick

Street to the former Barclays unit at

72 George Street. Re-investment in

Frederick Street includes kitchenware

retailer Le Crueset (at number 34),

opticians Vision Express (number

24), chocolatier Thorntons (numbers

9-11) and clothing and accessories

outlet Pretty Green (relocating from

Hanover Street to 22 Frederick


Lululemon athletica opened a

sportswear store at 57 George Street

and clothing retailer Jaeger opened

at number 35 in the former East unit

(East having relocated to number


On Princes Street, shoe retailer

Skechers opened in number 79 and

Card Factory took 119a (the former

Phones 4 U shop).

A new retail format came to

Edinburgh in December 2015, when

Tesla Motors opened a showroom

for its premium electric motor cars on

Multrees Walk.

Nearby on St Andrews Square,

Standard Life Investments and

Peveril Securities’ development is

well underway and will include a

TK Maxx store and six restaurants,

of which New York contemporary

steakhouse STK Rebel, barbecue

lobster shack Big Easy and Bombay

style café Dishoom will be opening

their first restaurants outside of


Princes Mall’s rebranding as

Waverley Mall also has a food and

drink flavour, including Greggs,

Chopstix Noodle Bar, Sushi Stop,

and a Post Office to replace the St

James Centre branch.

Diversification in this way to include

non-retail uses continues to be a

major market theme. Around half of

demand for retail locations is coming

from leisure operators, including

bars, restaurants – particularly casual

dining chains – and cafes. The line

between retail and leisure continues

to blur as asset managers seek to

draw more customers, widen the

expenditure base and increase dwell

time in their malls and city centres.

Hotels, cinemas and health &

fitness are also actively investing

in city centres, including plans by

Travelodge to create hotels within

UK shopping malls. Premier Inn’s

hotels on East Market Street and

York Place are due to open during

2016, as are its Hub concepts at East

Market Street and Rose Street. The

Adagio Aparthotel on Canongate


Ryden cont...

and Courtyard by Marriott at Baxters

Place are planned for 2017. The

Haymarket will include a Staycity

aparthotel and a Premier Inn hotel.

The indicators in the table highlight

Edinburgh’s retail performance since

2010. Edinburgh has ranked between

12th and 15th in the UK based

upon retail turnover. The city centre

vacancy rate has gradually declined

over the past 5 years. Prime rents

remain broadly stable, although this

masks significant growth in George

Street while Princes Street has

remained broadly static. The retail

rental trend at a portfolio level is now


The city centre is complemented

by - and in competition with - a

substantial out-of-town retail offer.

Some retailers are operating multistore

strategies in Edinburgh and

investing both in and out-of-town,

most notably at Fort Kinnaird which

welcomed several retailers during

2015. Primark opened a new store in

the former Toys R Us unit (the latter

has relocated within the retail park),

while TK Maxx and HomeSense

opened a combined shop. All

new units in the £13 million leisure

extension, which opened in spring

2015, were pre-let and include outlets

for PizzaExpress, Nando’s, Frankie &

Benny’s, Chiquito, TGI Friday’s and a

seven-screen Odeon cinema. Outof-town

retail parks are increasingly

important to retailers seeking to grow

their online click-and-collect sales.

Recent property investment

transactions continue to place

Edinburgh at the top prime end of

the market. Initial yields of 4.45% for

131-133 Princes Street (price £8.45

million) occupied by Halifax and

4.75% for Debenhams department

store at 109-112 Princes Street

(price £25.2 million) confirm investor

confidence in the city centre market

and its future growth potential.

Dr Mark Robertson is a partner at Ryden and head of the

firm’s consulting group. He is editor of Scottish Property

Review and is an External Tutor, Property Investment

Appraisal (MSc) at Napier University. For more information

about Ryden please visit


Parking Index: data 2016

Parking is important for businesses in the city centre and

the information below shows the number of times and

length of time each parking bay is used during the

chargeable period. The higher the turnover of paid parking

spaces the more opportunities for shoppers to find a

space. In the New Town there are 959 bays in zones 1A

and 2, which covers the Essential Edinburgh BID area.

It should be noted that the average

daily number of transactions per

bay during trading hours and the

average length of time parked are

derived from transactions at parking

ticket machines, the number of

which varies throughout the year.

The relatively low number of daily

transactions per bay is likely to be

due to the usage of the bays by

holders of resident’s parking


In the New Town over February

2016, the average turnover of

parking spaces per day was 1.8.

This compares to 2.0 in the Old

Town, 1.5 in the West End and 1.9 in

the East End.

Parking utilisation

Shoppers looking to park their car

are more likely to find a space in the

streets that are less utilised. It is

clear that George Street had the

highest levels of utilisation. This

means that the parking bays were

used much more than the average

of the bays in other streets. Thistle


This table reflects the levels of usage of parking bays during the

times when parking charges are levied (Monday – Saturday 8:30 am

– 5:30pm in areas with lower parking ticket sales and 8:30am –

6:30pm in areas with higher ticket sales.

Street, Little King Street, North Castle Street, and West Register Street are all

used more than average for parking. The other streets are used less than

average for parking with Glenfinlas Street having the lowest utilisation of paid

parking spaces within the New Town.

For real time information on utilisation rates in off-street car parks

follow this link:



Edinburgh’s Conferences

Marketing Edinburgh is the organisation

dedicated to promoting Edinburgh to the world,

and encompasses a Convention Bureau and Film


Business Tourism

Business Tourism is vital to the

economy of the city and delivers

significant financial benefits for

the city. It also positions the city

positively in key industry sectors,

brings global expertise into the

community and provides a platform

for future investment.

From January to December 2015,

Convention Edinburgh alongside

its members has confirmed 181

conferences, attracting just over

65,000 delegates to the city between

2015 and 2021 with an economic

benefit of over £86 million. Over the

last two months (December ’15 and

January ‘16) Convention Edinburgh

has secured 30 new conferences

with a combined economic benefit of

just under £14 million.


It has been a record breaking year

for film productions in the region. In

the last 12 months, an economic

impact of £7 million generated from

filming in the city region marks a

52% rise on 2014 figures.

The highest economic impact

return in the organisation’s 25 year

history, this was a direct result of

two large-scale, high-value TV

drama productions One Of Us

and The Secret Agent (both BBC

productions), and feature film

Tommy’s Honour, each basing

their entire production schedules in


353 productions completed in 2015,

marginally down (3%) on last year’s

figures, however conversion rates

from filming enquires to completed

productions, also increased by 3%

on 2014’s figures. Other high-value

feature films and TV productions

to film on location in the region this

year included Whisky Galore!, The

BFG, The Correspondence and the

second series of Outlander.

A combination of the right locations,

25% of Scotland crew base, tax

credit benefits and hard work to

facilitate and attract productions, has

all helped strengthen Edinburgh’s

reputation as a film friendly city.

These fantastic results also reaffirm

the compelling case in favour of

a film studio in the city region. A

film studio would provide much

needed facilities for companies,

particularly from high value drama

productions, to base their entire

production (offices, build space


etc.) in the region, not simply their

location shoots. The benefits would

be immediate and far-reaching,

including increased economic

impact to the Edinburgh city region.


Tel 0131 622 7337.

Upcoming Conferences

Conferences which will take place

during March, April and May 2016

have a combined value of over £15

million and will attract over 10,000

delegates. These include:

Confirmed Conferences

14 - 16 April 2016, World Bar Conference of 2016, 250


20 - 21 April 2016, VisitScotland Expo 2016, 800 delegates

26 - 29 April 2016, Fossil Insect and Amber Conference 2016,

150 delegates

1 - 4 May 2016, Open Mobile Alliance, 75 delegates

4 - 5 May 2016, 6th National Scottish Medical Education

Conference, 800 delegates

7 - 13 May 2016, International Symposium on Ballistics, 500


13 - 14 May 2016, Festival of Architecture, 500 delegates

13 - 14 May 2016, UK and Ireland Prostate Brachytherapy

Conference 2016, 150 delegates

17 -21 May 2016, 2016 British Reformation Tour, 100


17 - 19 May 2016, Structural Faults and Repair 2016, 350





Edinburgh Airport has announced

January’s passenger numbers

showing 700,142 people passed

through the airport in the first month

of the year.

The total change represents double

digit growth from January 2015 with

an exceptionally strong showing

in the number of international

passengers, where a 21.7% annual

hike was recorded.

In terms of international passengers

this is the greatest monthly increase

since January 2008 when the

number of international passengers

increased from January 2007 by


Welcoming January’s passenger

figures Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh

Airport’s Chief Executive, said:

“January’s passenger numbers

are very welcome indeed and the

massive increase in the number of

international passengers highlights

the growing draw of Edinburgh as a

prime global destination.

“We are continuing to offer greater

choice with more routes and more

destinations– and passengers are

responding by flying in and out

of Edinburgh directly in greater

numbers than ever before.

“People ask me how much more

Edinburgh Airport can grow in a

country with little over five million

people; it is not the five million I am

worried about - but how the other

seven billion across the globe get to

visit us.”

Annual Figures

Edinburgh Airport has announced

that a grand total of 11,130,584

passengers passed through the

airport in 2015 making it the busiest

ever year at a Scottish Airport.

The annual total represents

an increase of over 950,000

passengers from the 2014 total


- further cementing Edinburgh

Airport’s reputation as the place

where Scotland meets the World.

The success was bolstered by

particularly strong international

passenger figures – which in

December peaked with a 19% yearon-year


Welcoming the annual passenger

figures Gordon Dewar, Edinburgh

Airport’s Chief Executive, said; :

“Last year we enhanced passenger

choice by offering more routes and

more destinations– and passengers

responded by choosing to fly in and

out of Edinburgh Airport in greater

numbers than ever before.

“This unprecedented success of

11.13 million passengers through

our doors highlights the draw of

Edinburgh as a destination and the

growing appeal that Scotland holds

across the globe.

“The 2015 annual total also

represents an increase of over

950,000 passengers from the

previous year.

“We remain focused on delivering

more success in the year ahead. In

2016 we will continue to improve the

passenger experience at Edinburgh

Airport with a multi-million pound

investment in our check-in and

baggage systems, an improved retail

offering with greater choice products

and we aim to expand our range of

new routes and destinations in the

year ahead.

“Our international passenger figures

for December show a 19% year-onyear

growth; this is a strong indicator

of our global ambitions and gives

reason to be optimistic about further

growth in the year ahead.”

More information from: Stuart

Young, Communications Officer

07730 148022




To contact Essential Edinburgh:

139 George Street

Edinburgh, EH2 4JY

t: +44 (0) 131 220 8580



© Essential Edinburgh .

To contact the City of Edinburgh Council

t: +44 (0) 131 200 2000


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