Life's a beach in Portobello after three quarters of a million cash injection

Portobello Town Centre has been given a major revamp following £769,015 of investment from the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council.

Last year the Council put in a bid to the Scottish Government's £60 million Town Centre Regeneration Fund for the regeneration of Portobello High Street. The bid was called 'Building Stronger Town Centres in Edinburgh: Portobello' and was supported by various local partners including Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, Edinburgh Business Assembly and the Portobello and Craigmillar Neighbourhood Partnership. The bid was successful and Portobello was awarded £582,015. A further £187,000 was contributed by the Council.

Pavements, crossing points, street furniture and lighting along the High Street have all been enhanced and improved. More bike racks have been put in to encourage people to cycle. New 'navigational' signage marks places of historical interest and gives information about Portobello as well as pointing visitors in the direction of the nearby promenade. Works started in October 2009 and have recently been completed.

Cllr Tom Buchanan, Convener for Economic Development, said: "These improvements have made an enormous difference to the area. Portobello is a thriving community with many independent traders and small businesses contributing to a bustling atmosphere. The high street is now greatly improved and I'm sure this will attract more visitors and shoppers, while enhancing the area for businesses and residents.

"This is also a great start to the Council's 'Building Stronger Town Centres for Edinburgh' programme and has really shown what a difference investment in Edinburgh's Town Centres can make."

These improvements also tie in with the city-wide Urban Centre Programme, which seeks to improve and promote local shopping centres.

Joyce Heath is a partner in the business Mike's Tackle Shop which is on the High Street. She said: "The pavements look really great now and they are a nice light colour. The work was done in a fast and efficient manner and the workers made sure our customers could always get access to the shop. I'm really pleased with the results and I hope they paving stones remain as clean."

The principal aim of the Urban Centres Programme is to improve accessibility and the quality of the public realm (pavements, crossings, railings, seating etc) to underpin the economic viability of local centres. The improvement measures are consequently intended to make the public realm outside local shops safer, cleaner and more vibrant, enhancing centres as place to live, work and visit.

The improvements in Portobello include:

The upgrade of over 3600m2 of pavements, crossing points and kerbs along Portobello High Street from Bridge Street to Pittville Street

The installation of navigational signage and refresh of existing fingerposts to encourage visitors to the town centre and promenade

The repair and upgrade of street furniture within the town centre to improve the attractiveness and appeal of the area

The upgrade of street lighting at the east end of Portobello High Street from Bath Street to Pitville Street.

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