Cala Properties and AWG have ditched plans for their £100m Exchange Court scheme in Edinburgh after rising construction costs threatened the financial viability of the project

The joint venture proposed to develop 186,000 sq ft (17,279 sq m) of offices, 9,365 sq ft (870 sq m) of retail and a 22,000 sq ft (2,043 sq m) extension to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre in the financial heart of the Scottish capital.

The scheme was scheduled to complete between 2009 and 2010, following an agreement between the developers, the conference centre and the City of Edinburgh Council to extend the centre.

A spokesman for Cala and AWG said: ‘We have worked hard on this project for four years and have made a significant investment in taking the project to such an advanced stage.

‘However, construction costs have risen significantly at a global level and it is bitterly disappointing that this situation has arisen, which could not have been predicted at the time of our selection.’

Andrew Holmes, director of city development for the City of Edinburgh Council, is hopeful that a second developer will come forward to take on the scheme.

‘We will now work closely with [the conference centre] on the best means of delivering this major project, described as the heart of the capital’s booming financial services business district, which will support thousands of jobs and be of huge economic benefit to Edinburgh and to the wider city region.’