Artists to take over site of former tram depot in Leith

A forgotten former tram depot in Edinburgh is to be knocked down and replaced with old shipping containers for artists to work in.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 11:44 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:11 am
The former tram depot off Leith Walk will be replaced by 10 old shipping containers.

A forgotten former tram depot in Edinburgh is to be knocked down and replaced with old shipping containers for artists to work in.

Studios, retail units, workshop space and a social enterprise cafe will also be created when the vast shed in Leith is demolished 60 years after it was last used for the city's original tram service.

The vast site, which is hidden away off Leith Walk, will also play host to a new "street market" under a £1.3 million funding deal to breathe new life into the site.

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It will be created from reconditioned wooden hits from the city's former German Christmas market.

The 10 sea containers will be brought into the site as soon as the old tram depot is demolished and are expected to be used funding is found to create modern buildings on the site.

The funding deal, which sees the Scottish Government and Edinburgh City Council plough in £750,000 and £530,000 respectively, will also see an "at risk" building on Leith Walk become a new community and business hub.

Work is expected to begin later this year on the project which is expected to provide a base for around 30 artists and help tackle a drastic shortage of studio space in the city.

Gavin Barrie, the council's economic development convenor, said: “The business units and street market will create a real buzz on Leith Walk and will address the critical shortage of space for artists and other creative entrepreneurs in Edinburgh.

"The community hub will deliver vital services to people in Leith Walk and the wider Leith area, which is one of the most densely populated and fastest growing places in Scotland.

Local government minister Kevin Stewart said: "The Leith Walk area will benefit from this injection of funding and the exciting plans look certain to support the regeneration of the area."