Edinburgh businesses affected by tram works turn their window displays into artistic galleries

Constitution Street businesses besieged by the tram extension works will transform their windows into magical outdoor galleries this evening.

Saturday, 25th January 2020, 7:45 am
Updated Monday, 27th January 2020, 1:36 pm

From 5pm to 8pm, Constitution Street will become a Window Wanderland - an artistic walking trail showcasing creative talents of businesses with the aim of attracting new customers.

This year’s theme will be Robert Burns, with local firm George Brown & Sons sponsoring the event.

Several businesses have seen their profits and ability to operate severely affected since the beginning of extensive tram works.

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They said: “We used to be extremely busy, people waiting 30 to 40 minutes to be seen. We used to have three experienced women working here - but now we are down to one part time member of staff as well as ourselves. We have been here for 11 years serving the community, with a steady rise in profits for the past seven years until now.

“We will be decorating our shop front in a Rabbie Burns theme this year as we just want everyone to know that we are an award winning business that is here to happily serve the community. We want to stay positive and to encourage passers by to continue to use our services.”

Afreen Fashion & Beauty in Constitution Street is one of the many businesses affected by the trams that will be presenting an artistic gallery this evening picture: Google/Ian Georgeson

The event now in its second year, invites businesses and residents to decorate their windows with bright lights and a touch of artistic flair. But this year’s event is part of a wider effort to boost trade in a neighbourhood that has been hit by ongoing tram works.

Window Wanderland was developed in Bristol by set designer Lucy Reeves Khan in 2015 and has since been held throughout the UK and internationally.

"This includes an open for business digital campaign, a specially commissioned itison voucher scheme, the creation of a logistics hub to help with deliveries and on-street customer service. There is also a business continuity fund for independent retailers experiencing short-term cash flow issues which owners can access by providing details of their particular circumstances to receive financial assistance.

“The Window Wanderland event, part of the #strongconstitution campaign, is a wonderful example of the businesses coming together to promote the food, drink and shopping possibilities on offer on Constitution Street and I would encourage people from all over the city to support this initiative.

"We will continue to work with businesses as construction continues to evaluate all the activity we are undertaking and will look to do the same when construction starts on other phases of the project, including Leith Walk. We are aware the construction phase is a challenging time and we want to minimise disruption and support businesses where possible.”