Volunteers wanted to help sweep up the Grassmarket area

A giant cigarette butt and an over-sized wad of chewing gum have been helping to raise awareness of the first ever Greater Grassmarket Clean Up Day.

Members of the Grassmarket Community Project, the French Connection Creperie and Mamma's Pizzeria wore the costumes and brandished brooms in an appeal to find volunteers to help tackle graffiti litter, fly posting and weeds, for the Clean Up Day this Friday.

The Clean Up has been organised by the Greater Grassmarket Business Improvement District (BID) and the City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership. It will cover the Grassmarket and the surrounding areas.

The clean up will start at 10am on Friday June 28, with volunteers being asked to meet at the old police box in the middle of the Grassmarket. Tea and coffee will be provided.

Transport and Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: "The Grassmarket and the surrounding streets are extremely popular with locals and visitors, and are steeped in history.

"Edinburgh is a beautiful place but litter and graffiti can spoil the impression we give. This clean-up campaign shows that businesses take pride in the area in which they work, and is also a great way of spreading the word that Edinburgh is not a waste bin.

"A lot of work is being done by cleansing staff and environmental wardens to clean up, but the best way in which the public can help is by binning or recycling their rubbish. The newly appointed Edinburgh Warden team will be ready to dish out on-the-spot fines to anyone flouting the law in areas such as the Grassmarket, right up until the early hours."

Georgia Artus, the Greater Grassmarket BID Project Manager, said: "The Greater Grassmarket Business Improvement District is a vibrant area which is full of character, and we want to make sure that it is shown off to its very best in the lead up to our busy summer period.

"By pulling together the efforts of City of Edinburgh Council, the City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership, local businesses, volunteers and private contractors we're working to help the area fulfil its potential as a paradise for visitors and residents alike - and we hope that Edinburgh locals will come and join us on Friday to lend a hand.

This is just the start, and we hope that everyone will enjoy the positive changes coming to the area in the upcoming weeks and months."

Jean Francois Toulouze, of the French Connection Creperie, said: "The French Connection Crêperie is very pleased to help the BID to clean the Grassmarket and surrounding areas to enhance the area and attract more tourists and local people."

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