Edinburgh arts charity wins lease for creative hub at Granton Waterfront

A vacant industrial unit on Granton Waterfront is to be transformed into a vibrant creative and community hub by arts charity Edinburgh Palette as part of the £1.3 billion regeneration of the area.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 4:45 pm

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The city council has approved a lease of the premises at 20 West Shore Road – which recently housed the Hidden Door festival – to the charity, which supports the arts by bringing vacant buildings back to life, so they can provide affordable studio space.

And the council is also supporting the venture by giving it a year’s free rent.

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Edinburgh Palette says they have been overwhelmed by interest in the premises at 20 West Shore Road

Affordable shop space will be on offer for local retail and hospitality businesses, helping to bring people onto the pedestrian promenade.

And there will be sought-after high-quality studio space for the creative industries, the third sector, freelancers and micro-businesses.

The council says when developed the building’s grounds will enhance the public realm and greenspace in the area and support active travel to and through the site.

Other activities planned are play-based recreation and cultural events and the project will also provide improved access to the Waterfront.

The project comes on the back of the recently announced lease to leading arts charity Wasps who are moving into the fully refurbished Granton station and a project with Edinburgh College to light up the nearby gasholder.

Council depute leader Cammy Day said: “We announced our ambitious £1.3bn plan to sustainably regenerate this area last year and it’s fantastic to see real progress is being made on the ground.

"Our plan is for Granton Waterfront to provide quality new sustainable development and a place where people can work, play, learn, enjoy culture and live in high-quality homes.

"The site on West Shore Road will become a draw for the local community as well as visitors to the area, providing jobs and a boost to the local economy as well as supporting so many groups like social enterprises, sports clubs, health and wellbeing services and other community organisations.

“We’ve worked with Edinburgh Palette across the city for a number of years and they’ll make a great addition to the area alongside Wasps. I look forward to supporting them in their new enterprise and seeing all their hard work come to life.”

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Andrew Chainey, development manager at Edinburgh Palette, said it was too early to predict how many studios would be created but they had been overwhelmed by interest in the project at 20 West Shore Road from all corners of the community including the creative and craft-making world.

“The welcome from local residents and organisations has been overwhelmingly positive. We are in discussions with a number of cutting edge providers from all areas of the creative and third sector and beyond. These anchor tenants will be key to the long-term sustainability and provision of services and activities on-site.”

The council said the site would form part of a growing creative, cultural and arts cluster on Granton Waterfront, which is due to include the National Museums Collection Centre; National Galleries of Scotland’s Granton Art Centre, along with The Art Works, NGS’s planned new facility; Edinburgh College’s Granton campus, including its art and design faculty and the Performing Arts Studio Scotland; as well as the new 600 square metre Granton Station enterprise hub.

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