Plans have been unveiled to develop the site of the airport’s disused “crosswind” runway – the original RAF Turnhouse runway – as a “digital quarter” intended to attract major technology companies from around the world as well as encourage home-grown businesses.
The hope is that companies will see Edinburgh as a good location because of the talent pool from the city’s universities, the attractive lifestyle for high-flying young executives and easy transport access both for exploring Scotland and flying to international destinations.
We believe we can make this one of the most attractive locations in the world for these companies, while also nurturing home grown start-ups...John Watson, Chief Executive, Crosswind Developments
The developers hope the new 150-acre “Crosswind” site will create a cluster of technology firms, resulting in up to 3000 direct jobs and a further 1000 indirect ones.
More detailed plans and a consultation with the community are expected later this year. Airport owners Global Infrastructure Partners have set up a separate company, Crosswind Developments, to carry out the project.
Tech entrepreneur David Farquhar, chief executive of Intelligent Growth Solutions, said Crosswind could tick the boxes for many digital organisations: “From the small start-ups to large corporations, the opportunity to be based at a highly accessible hub in a country that offers a highly educated population and a life/work balance..."