Fountainbridge brewery canal site to get revamp

An artist's impression of the planned development on the site of the former Fountain Brewery. Picture: 7N Architects
An artist's impression of the planned development on the site of the former Fountain Brewery. Picture: 7N Architects
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Plans to transform a former brewery site into a vibrant area to “shop, work, stay and play” have been unveiled to the public.

If approved, the regeneration project at Fountainbridge will dramatically change the landscape of the area.

The site, just off Dundee Street and along from the Fountain Park leisure complex, has been lying empty since the McEwan’s Fountain Brewery closed in 2004.

Residents flocked to Central Hall at Tollcross to view plans for a “new city neighbourhood” on the 8.2 acres just north of the Union Canal.

The ambitious blueprint, tabled by property development firm EDI Group, will be submitted to Edinburgh City Council for planning permission in principle in May.

The masterplan, informed by residents who took part in a series of workshops, includes plans for 340 new homes.

It is estimated that 1400 jobs will be created at the development’s retail units and business areas, in addition to local construction jobs.

The canalside area will also be “enhanced” for leisure activities, with EDI Group already in talks with Calder-based social enterprise Bridge 8, which promotes outdoor activities along the Union Canal.

The complex will be next door to the new Boroughmuir High, which is due to open in August 2016.

Before the development is complete, the site will be promoted for events and other activities.

The Grove Community Garden project has also been launched to take plots for allotments.

The proposals include plans to provide incubator space to new business start-ups which can then move in to permanent units elsewhere on the site.

Preparatory work to plant trees and greenery has already been carried out at the vast area, which has been hidden by large screens.

The fencing will be removed in the next few weeks, giving pedestrians the chance to take shortcuts through the area.

Lynn Smith, senior development manager at EDI Group, said she was delighted with the community response so far.

“There have been some squeals of delight – it’s so positive,” she said. “It’s really gathering momentum.”

Bruntsfield resident Graham Whyte said the proposals were an “interesting concept”. He said: “Something has to be done with it and it should be a great asset once it’s done.”

Pat Ferguson, who lives by the Quayside basin, said: “If it all goes according to what we see, it’s very exciting. But it’s taken a long time so far, so we just have to hope that there’s no more hiccups like 

The application for planning permission in principle is expected to be considered in the autumn.

The proposals are now available to view at Fountainbridge Library, Dundee Street, until Friday, April 11.