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EICC launches £350m hotel and school project to plug skills gap

The Edinburgh International Conference Centre (EICC) has announced plans to build a hotel and hotel school development in the Haymarket area of the city.

The £350m project is being funded by M&G Real Estate and developed by QMilne Group.

The new 362-bedroom, 4-star hotel aims to meet conference demand for the EICC, which has hosted nearly 1.5m delegates in the last 25 years.

The hotel school will address the skills shortage and recruitment challenges faced by the hospitality industry in Scotland.

Occupying one of the most accessible locations in Edinburgh near transport links, business hubs and cultural attractions, the hotel will benefit from delegates visiting the city for events at EICC. The city has previously had to turn down some conference business as organisers have historically been unable to secure that amount of hotel rooms needed for delegates.

EICC

Edinburgh International Conference Centre.

“The hotel and hotel school will take our fantastic venue to the next level on UK and international terms,” said Marshall Dallas, chief executive of the EICC.

“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.”

Audrey Cumberford MBE FRSE, principal and CEO at Edinburgh College, recently signed up as the college partner to the hotel school. She 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. It is vital we create a range of bespoke programmes, meeting the needs of our business partner and our students, ranging from schools to full-time, part-time and apprenticeship opportunities.”

Later this year the EICC will celebrate its 25th anniversary.