Edinburgh hailed for pubs, restaurants, theatres and parks

Edinburgh was expected to see employment growth. Picture: TSPL
Edinburgh was expected to see employment growth. Picture: TSPL
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EDINBURGH’S pubs, restaurants, museums, parks, theatres and cinemas all get a big thumbs-up from the public in an Evening News survey looking at life in the Capital.

More than 2400 people took part in the survey online or by answering a questionnaire in the paper.

The Capital’s museums, galleries and exhibitions got the biggest vote of confidence, with 88.5 per cent saying they were good or very good, just 6.3 per cent preferring to call them average and less than 1 per cent labelling them poor or very poor. Almost a third of those who answering the survey said they visited museums, galleries or exhibitions at least once a month.

The city’s pubs, restaurants and bars were rated good or very good by 87 per cent with 9.7 per cent saying they were average and only 1.6 per cent calling them poor or very poor.

Theatres and concerts were judged good or very good by 65.7 per cent, average by 18.5 per cent and poor or very poor by 9.1 per cent. One in five said they went to the theatre or a concert once a month or more.

And Edinburgh’s cinemas were rated good or very good by 72.2 per cent, with 18.6 per cent calling them average and just 1.5 per cent saying they were poor or very poor. Over 27 per cent said they went to the cinema at least once a month.

Marketing Edinburgh today hailed the positive response to the survey as a reaffirmation of the city’s global reputation.

Shopping centres in the Capital got a good or very good rating from 47 per cent of the public, while 36 per cent said they were average and 14 per cent called them poor.

Some 39 per cent said they visited shopping centres at least once a week. And nearly another 39 per cent go at least once a month.

Just over 22 per cent said they went to sports events as a spectator at least once a month.

But 44 per cent rated sports events in the Capital as good or very good, while 18.6 per cent said they were average and less than 4 per cent thought they were poor.

More than one in five said they attended sport or fitness centres, clubs or classes daily or several times a week. Another 21 per cent attended between once a week and once a month. Well over half – 53.3 per cent – rated them good or very good.

And 40 per cent said they went to one of the city’s parks at least once a week. Parks were rated good or very good by 77.5 per cent of people while less than five per cent thought they were poor or very poor.

Council environment convener Lesley Macinnes welcomed the findings. She said: “Edinburgh’s wealth of parks make it the beautiful city it is – with 30 Green Flags we have more than any other local authority in Scotland. That said, we are always working with partners and friends groups to enhance each of our 142 parks, to make sure residents in every corner of the city have access to a welcoming green space.”

Anna Christopherson, owner of the Boda Bar in Leith Walk, said she was happy to see such good ratings for Edinburgh’s pubs and restaurants.

She said it was already a vibrant sector and it was “just getting better and better”.

“There are new places opening all the time. And it has changed so much even since I came to Edinburgh 13 years ago. There is such a variety of different restaurants now and so much choice. It’s fantastic.”

But she added: “We need to be careful – it’s the local pubs that really have the community feel, not the big chains.”

The survey also found local festivals and events were hugely popular, with almost 75 per cent saying they were good or very good. Leith Labour councillor Gordon Munro said as chair of Leith Festival from 2007-13, he was not surprised at the level of enthusiasm.

He said: “When Leith Festival faced a funding crisis, Leith and its diaspora responded to the call to support their festival and is the reason it’s still here. We all need our gala day to celebrate our community.”

John Donnelly, chief executive Marketing Edinburgh, said: “It’s incredibly reassuring to see such a positive response in this latest survey, reaffirming what makes Edinburgh such a great place to live, work, invest, study and visit.

“In recent months Edinburgh has been named the number one City of Culture and Creativity by the European Commission, as well as entering the Mercer Quality of Living Ranking index as one of the top 50 cities in the world for the first time.

“Edinburgh has a global reputation for being a vibrant cultural hub, packed with amazing venues, rich history, world class festivals and an enviable array of restaurants and bars. Our locals are the life-blood of the city, and to see their pride, appreciation and enjoyment of all Edinburgh has to offer, is great news for the city.”