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Decline delays Edinburgh scheme

PLANS to build a major extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre are in doubt following a collapse in the city's office market.

Edinburgh City Council is in negotiations with six developers to build a £25 million extension to the centre.

The scheme would be funded by building £35 million-worth of offices above the extension which the developer could let or sell to recoup its costs.

But there has been a sharp decline in the value of office space in the city and the scheme is no longer looking viable.

A project source said: 'The council is wary of the climate for office building in Scotland. Things are not looking too hot so the scheme has been put on the back burner for at least six months to see if things improve.'

Cala/Morrison, Grosvenor, Kilmartin, Parlison, Premier Property Group and Wilson Bowden were shortlisted to bid for the scheme last October. Work was due to start on site this spring.

One bidder said: 'It's true that the office sector is depressed in Edinburgh. But this is the first we've heard about such a long delay on a decision.'