Gorgeous idea to boost Gorgie

An 'I love Leith' campaign banner featuring author Irvine Welsh
An 'I love Leith' campaign banner featuring author Irvine Welsh
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It is famous for its football stadium, the aroma that comes from its whisky distillery and its city farm.

Few, however, would use the word “gorgeous” to describe Gorgie’s charm – until now.

The city council is to link up with local businesses, including Hearts and the Gorgie City Farm, to try to improve the appearance of the area.

The campaign will be launched under the banner “Gorgeous Gorgie” to promote the area and increase the amount of pride local residents have in their streets. It is hoped that Hearts stars will front the campaign, alongside local residents and business owners.

Seen as a similar initiative to “I Love Leith”, the campaign is expected to include banners on street lights, community events such as litter picking and campaigns to boost awareness of environmental issues.

It is hoped that the campaign – which will revive the Gorgie/Dalry area logo, pictured – can help to reduce the amount of fly-tipping and litter in the area’s streets by increasing the sense of community.

Councillor Tom Buchanan, the city’s economic development leader, said: “Last summer, we asked local businesses, residents and shoppers how we could help to make Gorgie a better and more enjoyable place – and they told us that our priorities should be cleaner streets and a better overall environment.

“I am delighted that so many organisations have agreed to get behind the campaign, which we hope will contribute towards addressing these priorities.”

The council’s survey of nearly 2000 people last year found that fewer people voted for Gorgie/Dalry as a “town centre that works well” than for any of the other centres.

The campaign will be funded through the £5000 share of the £45,000-a-year budget that Edinburgh’s new “town centre co-ordinators” have to spend.

It will highlight key attractions and local figures, and it is hoped many local organisations and businesses will get involved.

Local initiatives already in place will be promoted under the scheme, including the Shandon Food Group’s community garden and Wheatfield Backgreen Association’s tenement green growing space.

A spokeswoman for Gorgie City Farm, which has agreed to get involved with efforts to promote the area and will be hosting a quarterly farmers’ market, said: “Without the Gorgie community, who campaigned and started the farm, Gorgie City Farm wouldn’t exist.”

Gorgie councillor and former Lord Provost Eric Milligan said previous council cuts to funding for the Better Gorgie Dalry Campaign had “undermined confidence” in the area.

He said: “There is no doubt that Gorgie is a wonderful area and people brought up here, like myself, feel very proud of Gorgie – just as people in Leith do about their history.”