Save Leith Walk campaigners project shop front vision and urgent messages on to closed down building
It is now or never to save the Leith Depot as the local community calls on the government to act immediately to halt the forced closure of the pub.
The Evening News had access on Wednesday night to a covert operation run by Save Leith Walk, Leith Depot and Guerilla Projections.
READ MORE: Popular bar and music venue Leith Depot vows to fight 'tooth and nail' against closure plansSeveral messages calling for urgent action from the Scottish Government were projected on to the vacant shop fronts at Stead’s Place. An image of what the shop fronts could look like if they were occupied by community shops, not student flats was also used.
A message read: “To the Scottish Government – we know you will do the right thing by our community.” Another stated: “Save Leith Walk – there is power in perseverance, this is just the beginnin.”
Drum Property Group(DPG) had their planning proposal to build student flats in January 2019 rejected as it did not meet Scottish planning law, but have appealed.
Nonetheless, Leith Depot staff have said that they will be forced to close on October 1 as DPG have refused to renew or extend their lease until a decision is reached in the appeal.
Julie Carty, 42, who runs Leith Depot with Pete Mason, 51, and Paddy Kavanagh, 42, said: “We are acutely aware of the contribution that our business makes to our 15 employees, the community, the local economy and the local and national music scene.
“We remain optimistic that our government won’t allow this to go ahead because to do so, would set a precedent and that is; for any developer, to go into any community and conservation area, in Scotland, demolish it and force independent local businesses and people out. Without any doubt, we continue to support the Save Leith Walk Campaign and their mission for the community’s right to buy this building. Drum’s actions have led to an unwanted and unnecessary long running saga and we are hugely grateful to have managed to continue to trade during it.”
SLW is asking anyone living in the postcode area which starts EH6 5*** to sign a petition to show their support for a community buy-out of the building. Copies of the petition can be found at Leith Depot, Lovella and any of the regular Save Leith Walk street stalls.
SLW hope that the space could then be rented at affordable prices for local businesses.
A spokesperson for DPG, said: “We remain wholly committed to transforming the site following the council’s own guidelines and have lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government challenging the council’s subsequent decision not to grant planning approval.
“From the start, Drum has been entirely straightforward, transparent and consistent regarding our plans for the site.”