Plan for giant water slide on Edinburgh streets

Slide the City.
Slide the City.
13
Have your say

IT’S the giant water attraction set to bring a touch of the Sunshine State to Edinburgh’s streets.

International organisers at Slide the City have revealed the Capital and Livingston are on a list of UK destinations set to host their 300-metre long aqua-ride.

The event has already seen thousands in West Palm Beach, Florida, and other sun-kissed US cities enjoy a “water party” featuring a vinyl slide longer than three football pitches.

Managers today said they would “love” to set up on the Royal Mile but admitted such a bid would probably fall foul of planning restrictions.

Instead, they have earmarked a number of city parks as possible sites, and it is thought Leith Links, the Meadows and even Princes Street Gardens could host the event’s “slip ‘n’ slide” ride.

John Malfatto, one of Slide the City’s founders, said: “It’s definitely our goal to bring it to Edinburgh this summer. An iconic street such as the Royal Mile would be fantastic and would really represent how we bring our brand to a city centre.

“But we can adapt to the local situation and if we need to find a park or a green space that’s more suitable then that’s fine for us.”

And he insisted the Capital’s unpredictable weather would not get in the way of a fun day out for all.

“Generally, the Scots are used to their climate and the potential for rain – we’re not going to let the rain deprive people of the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said.

Tourism experts have identified a wide range of city landmarks as suitable host sites. Professor Joe Goldblatt, executive director at Queen Margaret University’s international centre for the study of planned events, said: “This is a project for spaces such as Princes Street Gardens, St Andrew Square, Charlotte Square, Inverleith Park or Leith Links.

“I think Leith Links would be the best location as it would increase the footfall for this area and lead to more spending in local restaurants, shops and so on.”

Council leaders said they had yet to receive an application from Slide the City, suggesting the event may have to be postponed. But they welcomed the idea as a unique proposition for the city.

Councillor Richard Lewis, festivals and events champion, said: “The High Street is home to a variety of street performers, cycling races, and all sorts of parades and marches but I don’t think we’ve ever received a request to ‘slide’ down the Royal Mile.

“Edinburgh has experienced four seasons over the course of this week alone but I’m glad the organisers are optimistic about outdoor watersports.”

johnpaul.holden@edinburghnews.com