Council secures deal for Leith's Custom House

The Council has purchased Leith's Custom House building, after a submitting an offer to the National Museums Scotland late last year.

Commenting on the news, Councillor Richard Lewis, Convener of Culture and Sport for the City of Edinburgh Council, said:

“This is such an important and historic building and I’m delighted we have been able to save it for the people of Leith and Edinburgh.

"Leith’s Custom House is the oldest in Scotland and was built in 1812, and as is necessary and common for a building of this age, a number of due diligence surveys had to be carried out before the Council could complete the purchase.

"This has taken some time, but we are now set to take ownership in April.

“We have been speaking to potential partners about leasing the venue and this was discussed at a meeting with community representatives on Thursday.

"Council officials will continue to work with these potential partners to pull together a plan for the short-term occupation and use of the building.”

Elected members and community representatives from 15 different Leith groups have been informed at each stage of the project, and an update on the chosen lease partner is due in Spring 2015.

Customs House, Leith; Knox, J., 1955, Photograph; from the Capital Collections

Customs House, Leith; Knox, J., 1955, Photograph; from the Capital Collections

Leith Custom House is a large Georgian building of neo-classical design, by the architect Robert Reid, which was built between 1810 and 1812. The Custom House was the venue for the collection of duty payable on goods imported through Leith. The building has been used by National Museums Scotland for storage and as such, is closed to the public. The Council has purchased the building and will take ownership in April 2015. 

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