‘It’s time to celebrate our communities’

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the various “villages” of Edinburgh have always been one of the city’s great strengths.

Whether it is indulging in the international delis and restaurants in Tollcross, beachcombing in Portobello or browsing boutiques in Stockbridge, there are great pleasures to be found in all corners of the Capital.

Each city neighbourhood has its own distinct attractions and its own local identity, from Gorgie to Granton, Leith to Liberton.

It is precisely this strong sense of community that inspired us to launch our new community news page, It’s Your News (see page 23), to give neighbourhoods a stronger presence in the newspaper each day.

And the strong attachment to our local communities is one of the things that makes Edinburgh such a great place to live.

The city council’s plans to celebrate and promote Edinburgh’s local “town centres” also recognise the dynamism of the Capital’s local communities.

Most of us are already familiar with the “I Love Leith” banners decorating streets around the city’s port. “Gorgeous Gorgie” ones will soon be just as well known.

It is great fun pondering what slogans might best suit other neighbourhoods. How about “Proud of Porty”? Or even “Cor!... It’s Corstorphine”?

But there is also a serious purpose to this campaign, which has the beauty of being both imaginative and relatively cheap to run.

Celebrating the attractions, people and history of our “urban villages” can only help build an even greater sense of community in each of them.

And it is a great way of reminding us all, as well as visitors to the city, just how much all our local town centres have to offer.

Show must go on

Still on the subject of pride in our communities, it is encouraging that Leith Festival organisers have managed to drum-up enough support to secure the future of the historic gala day.

After the News told how the entire festival was at risk, Scotmid has chipped-in with funds. Moreover, a raft of new volunteers have come forward since we first highlighted its plight.

Cancelling the showpiece would have been unthinkable to most in the community, and it is a great starting point that it has been saved.

But much more is now needed to ensure the wider festival can get back on track and return for 2013. Let’s hope this news is the beginning of a positive future for the festival for many years to come.