Plans to turn Edinburgh's historic Granton station into creative hub move a step closer after lease approved

Plans to turn Edinburgh’s historic Granton Station into a cultural and creative hub have moved a step closer, after the council approved a lease for the site.

Friday, 13th August 2021, 4:55 am
Pheobe Roze a tenant from Creative Academy (inverness) PIC: Paul Campbell

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Wasps, Scotland’s largest provider of studio space for artists and creative industries is taking over the Edwardian building, after the City of Edinburgh Council’s Finance and Resources Committee approved their lease.

The first spades were put in the ground in June to bring the historic former Granton Station back to life as a creative workspace with a new public square in front of the building for pop-up events and recreation.

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The station was built in 1903 to serve Granton gas works

Wasps is set to move into the building in 2022 providing space to support around 40 jobs, as well as helping around 100 people each year with creative business development opportunities.

The social enterprise charity will deliver a heritage programme for local people and railway enthusiasts on the unique history of the station, built in 1903 to serve Granton Gas works.

They’ll also providing exhibition space to showcase local talent and host workshops, as well as a series of outdoor and online events for locals which it’s hoped will also attract thousands of visitors to the area.

At a cost of around £4.75m the project is being part-funded through Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund support and town centre funding and is part of the Council’s £1.3bn wider regeneration of the area.

Councillor Rob Munn, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee, said: “I’m delighted that the Committee has approved the lease for this historic building so Wasps can now start putting their exciting plans into place to bring this fantastic piece of Edwardian architecture back to life.

"The arts and cultural activities and events planned by them will attract thousands of visitors to Granton Waterfront, as well as nurturing artistic and cultural talent in the local area.”

Depute Council Leader Cammy Day, said: “In June, we saw the first spades going in the ground to create this fantastic new space for artistic and cultural talent and we’ll soon be announcing the name of the new square being developed in front of it.

"The new hub run by Wasps will be a key focal point in our wider £1.3bn regeneration of the local area, creating new homes, jobs and communities. I’ve met with Wasps recently and I’m keen to see them work with existing local community groups.

"I’m very much looking forward to working with Wasps as they move forward and develop their exciting plans for the building and the wider Granton Waterfront area and beyond.”

Audrey Carlin, Wasps’ Chief Executive Officer, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Wasps and for the area, as part of a wider cultural regeneration initiative. Wasps already supports 180 artists in Edinburgh, and this new facility, at the gateway into Granton, will incubate more digitally based creative people.

"On completion it will attract a diverse and vibrant community to the heart of Granton, and provide new opportunities for established communities in North Edinburgh, while acknowledging the heritage of the building and its connection to the city.

"The project also offers new employment and community engagement opportunities, something we have helped to foster successfully at other locations across Scotland."

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