Watch: Urban explorers break law to visit abandoned Leith grain silo

A group of urban explorers have published footage of their visit to an abandoned industrial building at Leith Docks.

Friday, 13th November 2020, 5:12 pm
The grain silo has lain abandoned for nearly two decades.
The grain silo has lain abandoned for nearly two decades.

In the 16-minute long video, which has been uploaded to YouTube, the explorers can be seen heading inside the derelict grain elevator and warehouse building at Imperial Dock.

Despite lacking official permission to do so, the explorers take a tour of the entire building, showing its impressive array of vintage machinery, which has lain virtually undisturbed for decades and has become a roosting site for pigeons.

A male narrator, who is understood to be a member of urban exploration group Urbandoned, tells viewers how impressed he is at the age and size of the machinery and vast scale of the building.

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The anonymous man also reveals that the silo’s electric strip lighting remains switched on, despite the building having closed a number of years ago.

Dating from 1933 when grain was Leith’s main import, the large concrete silo has remained mothballed since it closed for good in the early 2000s,

The Urbandoned group have been exploring derelict buildings from crumbling art deco cinemas to spooky abandoned hospitals around the UK for more than 4 years.

While aware that what they are doing is illegal in most cases, the group state that they do not force entry into any of the places that they visit and only use access points available to them on the day if they can find any. They add that they do not vandalise anything within the buildings.

Now in a dilapidated state, the B-listed warehouse at Leith Docks is on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. Consent for demolition was conditionally approved in 2015, but has not been executed.

The warehouse is situated on fenced off land controlled by Forth Ports Limited and the public are prohibited from venturing into this part of Leith Docks.

Forth Ports have condemned the actions of the urban explorers and say they will be reporting the incident to Police Scotland.

A spokesperson said: “We were unaware of this illegal filming within the Port of Leith and will be referring this to Police Scotland as a matter of urgency.

"Entering this derelict grain silo was incredibly dangerous and we strongly condemn these actions.”

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