Comment: Granton Gasholder possibilities

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A SWANKY hotel or luxury flats? Maybe a concert venue or how about an industrial heritage museum?

Just what should we do with the iconic Granton Gasholder – and who has the money to do it?
The grade B listed site as we know is up for sale and it is fair to say the owners may not be expecting a flurry of offers.

Redeveloping sites like Granton, however, is possible with the right vision and funding.

Looking at schemes across Europe – notably in Dublin, Vienna and Berlin – once rusting industrial relics have undergone spectacular transformations becoming real destination attractions.

Turning the Victorian gasholder into a 21st century icon could lead to the whole area being revitalised. How fantastic would it be to create a concert venue on the site for instance? It would solve two problems in one go.

Perhaps that’s not realistic but there is certainly a real opportunity here, perhaps one which will not come round again in a hurry, for the right project.

The problem as ever will be funding which may well rule out anything other than a private developer taking on a project for commercial gain.

With a price tag of £5.2m to clean-up and repair the site, it is not on the face of it an attractive prospect.

The other problem is there is also now a lack of confidence in Edinburgh when it comes to major public projects in the wake of the Scottish Parliament and the tram debacles.

Indeed the impact on future projects is perhaps one of the worst legacies of all from the tram scheme.

Could the Granton Gasholder be turned into a beacon which will revitalise that part of town?

The evidence from elsewhere suggests the answer is a resounding yes.

Whether there is the enthusiasm or cash to do it is another matter.