I was pleased to read the recent stories about how happy the new owners in the Pennywell Living development are – the star jump in the accompanying photograph gave the game away!
I’m also encouraged that the feeling of optimism I have for the area is shared. One new owner talked of the “buzz” around the place – that’s a good way to describe Pennywell and Muirhouse at the moment. There’s a lot going on.
I meet regularly with members of the community as chair of the Improving Muirhouse and Pennywell group and they are always first to remind me of how keen they are to keep pushing forward with the regeneration. Sure, we have a way to go but we’re all in this together and new people moving in and new homes for affordable rent available in the summer are key milestones.
We’re getting there and remember, at over 700 new homes, this is the largest housing-led regeneration project currently under way in Scotland. A project to which the council has committed £42m, a project that’s bringing new jobs, apprenticeships and work placements for local people and driving the wider regeneration of the area.
The tagline being used for this wider regeneration is “Building New Futures” and it couldn’t be more apt – the community is looking forward not back, building on what has already been achieved; things like the development of the council’s new homes at West Pilton Crescent and all the new homes from our partners in this and the wider area too.
It’s not just about housing. The new Craigroyston High is an inspiring place to be and the staff and young people there are making great strides. Over the road we also have the site of the North West Edinburgh Partnership Centre. This new facility, being delivered by the council and NHS Lothian, will bring a range of health services and have a strong focus on child health and family support – just what we need in the area.
And then there’s Pennywell Shopping Centre, providing retail facilities and linking Pennywell Road to the Muirhouse Library and the North Edinburgh Arts Centre. This area is at the heart of the regeneration and we need to make sure it thrives. Our bid to the Scottish Government for the delivery of a new civic square will be key to tying this central area together.
I’m not doing star jumps yet but when you walk around the area, see the regeneration that’s under way, listen to the community and others who are making the effort to put these plans into action, you get a vision of what we’re building in Pennywell and Muirhouse. We are building a new future and I know I’m not the only one who is looking forward to it.
Cammy Day is housing lead for the Edinburgh City Council, Forth Ward councillor and chair of the North Neighbourhood Partnership