Controversial Ferris wheel at Portobello allowed to open as restrictions lifted

The big wheel at Portobello is now allowed to open.The big wheel at Portobello is now allowed to open.
The big wheel at Portobello is now allowed to open.
The big wheel sparked controversy when it was erected earlier this month

A controversial Ferris wheel at Portobello is set to welcome its first customers following a review of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.

The 32-metre-tall funfair attraction will be free to open on Monday after the Scottish Government deemed the ride safe to operate subject to the latest health protection guidance.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Ferris wheel will now be allowed to operate until August 30, a notice from officers confirmed, with no legal basis remaining to keep it closed.

The big wheel had sparked controversy when it was erected earlier this month, with Edinburgh Council admitting it had granted permission for the attraction “in error”.

The local authority subsequently issued a suspension of the licence for the attraction.

Many Portobello locals had also raised concerns about the attraction and the potential for large crowds to swarm the area. Nearby home owners also fumed about possible privacy concerns due to the height of the wheel.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Operators had originally intended to open the Ferris wheel between August 3 and August 24, but, due to legal restrictions imposed by authorities, they were forced to keep it out of action.

On July 31, the owners of Thomson Event Group were granted a Public Entertainment Licence by the council for the attraction - before then being told they could not due to the fact it is classed as a “funfair”.

The Scottish Government had advised that funfairs could not open until at least August 24.

Thomson Event Group had insisted the Ferris wheel should be classified as a ‘tourist attraction’, and argued that it should be allowed to open.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

As part of their attraction in Portobello, free rides were being offered to NHS staff and carers with valid ID between the hours of 11am and 12pm. NHS workers will be able to bring one friend or family member on the ride with them for free as well.

Officers from the council’s Public Safety Team will carry out a final inspection to ensure that the ride is safe including any issue about the operation impacting other properties.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.