Lit walkway plan for Fountainbridge canal quarter

An artist's impression of the Fountainbridge archway and lit path. Picture: comp

An artist's impression of the Fountainbridge archway and lit path. Picture: comp

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A STRING of lamps will light the gateway to ­Fountainbridge basin as part of plans to breathe new life into the ­historic canal quarter.

Proposals have been lodged for a lighted walkway into the Edinburgh Quay development, which contains housing, offices and leisure facilities.

The blueprints include an illuminated archway inscribed with the word “Fountainbridge” in a style of lettering inspired by the font on the clock at the former Fountain Brewery, which was established in 1856.

The brewery – which merged with Newcastle ­Breweries in 1960 to form Scottish and Newcastle Breweries – closed down in 2004 and has since been earmarked for housing.

Staying true to the area’s history should be a key part of the neighbourhood’s ­regeneration, said Tollcross Community Council secretary Ann ­Wigglesworth, who welcomed the plans.

She said: “It certainly needs brightening up in that area and anything that looks back to the area’s past and brings that into the future would be great.

“We worked on restoring the Edinburgh Meat ­Market sign a few years ago on ­Fountainbridge and that was very successful.”

The old Meat Market was founded on the corner of Fountainbridge and Semple Street in 1884, and the city’s slaughterhouse was based on the site of Tollcross Primary School.

Mrs Wigglesworth said the new signage might help attract people to the area as the ­regeneration was moving more slowly than hoped. She said: “The development down there at Lochrin Basin hasn’t really gathered speed.

“It is a bit off the beaten track, especially if you are eating out. I’m sure this will help in bringing people down there as sometimes the signage in Fountainbridge has not been very good. Anything which helps to create a bit more atmosphere is great.”

Green councillor Gavin ­Corbett, who represents Fountainbridge and Craiglockart, said any developments would have to complement Fountainbridge’s heritage.

He said: “Fountainbridge is going to have a busy year, with the old brewery sites seeing planning applications or new building, left, right and centre.

“I want to see a vibrant new neighbourhood which puts people at its heart and so any development, large or small, needs to contribute to that, as well respecting the heritage of the canal area.”

A spokesman for the Edinburgh Quay development said: “With its mix of quality office, leisure and residential development Fountainbridge is fast becoming a great destination and we are very excited about these improvements at ­Edinburgh Quay which forms the gateway to the wider area.

“The new signage echoes the rich history of the area and the improved lighting scheme will be much more welcoming.”