THE empty Leith Waterworld has been transformed into the Capital’s latest skater park.
Edinburgh-based Harvest Skate Co organised a one-day “creative” video shoot in the empty pool – approved by city property bosses and featuring skaters using the defunct pool’s furniture as ramps for a series of stunts.
And they said the shoot was so successful that discussions were under way with council officers about returning for a follow-up.
Jamie Johnson, 25, from Leith, who set up Harvest with his friend Kieron Forbes, said: “We basically wanted to make it a platform for local creatives.
“I was a huge fan of Leith Waterworld and I would like to see it open again. I saw an opportunity for creative use of an empty space.”
The video, shot last month, is the latest twist in long-running efforts to reopen the pool, which was closed in January last year after racking up losses of hundreds of thousands of pounds.
After discussions with the Splashback campaign group about a community-led buyout, the council announced in May that it would instead sell the venue to Glasgow-based A&G Property in a £1 million deal.
Mr Johnson stressed the skater sessions had nothing to do with vandalism. “I was all for Leith Waterworld. This video was not about a group going in to trash the place – there was no damage done.”
Splashback member Johnny Gailey said he was glad young people were using the pool but questioned why sale negotiations had run beyond a 60-day deadline set when the deal with A&G was announced.
He said: “How come the building is still empty and why hasn’t the sale gone through yet? What’s holding up negotiations?”
City leisure chiefs said the sale process had taken longer than expected to ensure contract documents included essential legal safeguards.
A spokeswoman said: “Since the council agreed in May to the sale of Leith Waterworld, negotiations have been ongoing with A&G and the legal process is now nearly complete.
“This is to ensure that the proposed development is carried out as specified and within appropriate timescales.”