New community group begins in Granton

Maldevic House, originally built as the offices of the Madelvic Carriage Company formed in Edinburgh in 1898, which produced electric vehicles and built the first car factory in Britain.
Maldevic House, originally built as the offices of the Madelvic Carriage Company formed in Edinburgh in 1898, which produced electric vehicles and built the first car factory in Britain.
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The headquarters of the oldest surviving car garage in the UK are set to become a permanent social link between the fragmented communities of Granton.

The Madelvic Motor Carriage Company, founded by astronomer William Peck, opened in 1898 and today community group granton:hub hope to create a thriving cultural centre in the historic offices.

The group have been working to develop a proposal to allow them to be permanently based at Madelvic House, at the heart of Granton’s regeneration, and offer inclusive educational and cultural benefits to the local and wider communities.

A masterplan to kickstart the regeneration of Granton Harbour was given the green light by a council committee in August last year and developers have since lodged detailed planning applications for some of the masterplan’s individual sites.

The plans include a boatyard and associated infrastructure for a new 300-berth marina complex, approved last week, a retail and leisure centre and more than 2000 new homes.

And Wendy Wager, chair of the granton:hub steering group, hopes that throughout the physical regeneration of the area, the group will be able to provide a welcoming centre for people moving to the area as well as a space for current residents.

She explained: “The house is a mid-point between the old community and the new flats.

“There is a bit of a divide between the two areas and as the area continues to change in the coming years we want to re-create the identity of Granton and give people a chance to show pride in where they live and what they do.”

An open weekend, marking the signing of a five year rent-free agreement with the building’s owners EDI Group, will allow visitors to get a taster of the workshops, classes and events planned in the coming years.

Ms Wager added: “The signing of this lease agreement with the EDI Group for Madelvic House is a major milestone for granton:hub.

“It will help us to build on our vision to create a vibrant community facility in Granton, one that local residents and those from the wider area can enjoy and be proud of.”

The hub will be launching its first full time programme, Madelvic:May, featuring workshops and community events – bringing together expert tutors, whilst helping to establish Madelvic House as a central community focal point in Granton.

EDI Group community development manager Denise Havard said: “This exciting project will bring significant and lasting benefits to the local community. The EDI Group is always looking for innovative and flexible ways to maximise use of our portfolio ensuring that community development is a real tool for change alongside physical regeneration.

The open weekend runs today and tomorrow from 11am-3pm.

fiona.pringle@jpress.co.uk