Regeneration agency Waterfront Edinburgh Ltd (WEL) reported more than £4 million of land sales in its annual accounts announced today.
Falling land values however saw the agency, which is transforming part of North Edinburgh’s Granton area, incur a paper loss of £6.6 million.
The figures are contained in the annual returns (1 April 2007 – 31 March 2008) for WEL which were submitted to Companies House on December 17.
Colin Hunter, Chief Executive of WEL, said: “We managed to make several high-profile sales during 2007 and 2008 and generate a significant amount of income for the site.
“However we understand this is a particularly challenging time for development and the fall in our land values is evidence of that. This is simply down to the global economic recession and unfortunately there is very little that can be done about the loss.
“This is simply a paper loss, no actual money has been lost, and we continue to adapt our vision, investment strategies and structures to adapt to an increasingly challenging environment.
“Edinburgh should rightly have a waterfront which sits equal with any other in the world. We have set the vision high and I know this will present us with many challenges, but we need to think big about the Waterfront at Granton and deliver something truly exceptional.”
WEL sold its Harbour Road A site to affordable house builders Places for People and another site to the Scottish Government.
Colin said the re-valuation of assets, which is carried out each year by independent assessors, reflected the changing profile of the entire Waterfront project.
He added: “We have realised that what was originally laid out in the Masterplan may no longer be appropriate in the current economic climate.
“We are committed to providing a sustainable community in Granton and understand this means more than simply housing. We bought the long-term lease for Telford College’s construction academy.”
Over the past seven years, WEL has made significant progress towards its targets to create a world-class waterfront community with housing developments by George Wimpey and the first phase of the Upper Strand Developments already completed. Major infrastructure including roads, landscaping and community planning is in place and there are ongoing negotiations with a number of potential investors for the site.
Steve Cardownie, Chairman of WEL, said: “The global recession has undoubtedly impacted the property and development sectors but WEL has amended its plans accordingly and remains confident it can create a waterfront to rival any other in the world.”