Transforming Granton Waterfront: Council and key partners sign agreement

The Council, National Galleries of Scotland, National Museums of Scotland, Edinburgh College, Scottish Government and Scottish Futures Trust have signed an agreement.

They will work together to create a new vibrant, city quarter in Granton Waterfront.

These public sector partners with interests and assets in the area will work together to engage the community to shape plans to transform Granton Waterfront which has over the last two decades been subject to slow and piecemeal development.

The Council’s purchase of the former gas works earlier this year, together with existing landholdings, has provided an opportunity to take a placemaking approach, keeping the community at the heart of any future development.

At an event to mark the signing, Aileen Campbell - Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government - met with partners and community council representatives to take a tour of the key sites.

Council Leader Adam McVey, Depute Leader Cammy Day and Chief Executive Andrew Kerr were joined by Dr Gordon Rintoul, National Museums of Scotland (NMS); Jacqueline Ridge, National Galleries of Scotland (NGS); Jon Buglass, Edinburgh College; and Christa Reekie from Scottish Futures Trust.

The Council’s vision for the area is for around 4,000 new homes, services, retail and high quality public realm to be built over the next 10 - 15 years, whilst retaining the rich heritage and history that this area offers.

The first phase of public engagement started in November, with future events planned for January and March.

Council Leader Adam McVey, said: “Granton is a hugely important area for the Council and for the city. It’s not only a Strategic Development Area in the Edinburgh Local Development Plan but also one of seven key strategic sites prioritised in the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal. Today marks the next stage in our commitment with partners to make the waterfront a great place to live, work and visit by delivering a world-leading development.”

Councillor Cammy Day, Depute Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council and chair of a forum set up to provide cross party-political leadership of this regeneration, said: “It’s one of this Administration’s key priorities to kick-start regeneration in the north of Edinburgh and I’m delighted to be taking the strategic lead on this. We and our partners will continue to work together on the development of a new vibrant, well connected city quarter with new housing, quality jobs and infrastructure.”

Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell said: “I am delighted to see the ambition, vision and drive to regenerate the Granton Waterfront area. This is a key development site and part of the recently signed Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal.

“It is a fantastic example of regeneration with new green spaces, housing and education facilities as well as the new National Museums of Scotland site. It is great to see partners working collaboratively to engage the community, develop the site, and make this a vibrant and exciting part of Edinburgh.”

Christa Reekie, commercial director at the Scottish Futures Trust (SFT), said: “SFT is delighted to be involved in the Granton Waterfront redevelopment. The vision is bold and thousands will benefit from the creation of a fantastic place that will provide a high quality environment for generations to come.”

Dr Gordon Rintoul, Director of National Museums Scotland, said: “National Museums Scotland has operated a major site in Granton for over 20 years now and has over 50 staff based there. We are delighted to be working with other organisations to develop and transform Granton Waterfront.”

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford, said: “Edinburgh College is extremely excited to be a part of the transformation of Granton Waterfront. Our campus is at the heart of the development area and we look forward to working with partners on this ambitious project which will provide greater opportunities for our students and the community.”

Jacqueline Ridge, Director of Conservation & Collections Management, National Galleries of Scotland: "The creation of a positive future for the Granton area is a central aim of our plans to build a new National Collections Facility. We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design this building from scratch. As well as providing a home for our artworks, we want it to be welcoming and inspiring for the community. The project is still in the design stage, but we are already working with local partners as we develop our vision for what this game-changing building might be."

A Development Framework which focuses on delivery is being produced and will be presented to the Planning Committee in late spring / summer 2019 for approval as non-statutory planning guidance. This will help ensure that the community and placemaking remain at the heart of this regeneration by providing guidance for future planning applications.

Further events and drop-in sessions will be held as plans develop in the coming years.

Further information 

Information on wider Granton Consultation can be found here

Granton Waterfront is identified as a Strategic Development Area in the adopted Edinburgh Local Development Plan. Edinburgh Waterfront to which Granton is part of, is identified as one of seven strategic sites prioritised for delivery as part of the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland City Region Deal.

Granton Waterfront consists of around 140 Ha of former industrial land and is currently characterised by fragmented ownership, piecemeal development and a slow build out rate following the 2007 financial crisis. It suffers from high infrastructure costs, poor connectivity and due to intermittent development, a lack of placemaking.

In March 2018, the Council purchased the former gas works from National Grid providing an opportunity to consolidate land holdings (around 120 acres) and take a place base approach to accelerating the delivery of housing led regeneration to enhance physical, economic and social outcomes for the area and surrounding communities.

Along with the Council, the other public sector signatories to the agreement, Edinburgh College, NMS and NGS all have land or buildings within Granton Waterfront and are committed to, alongside the Council, working collaboratively to maximise the impact of their combined resources.

Current Regeneration Activity

There are currently over 700 homes either under development or construction on the harbour and Waterfront Avenue by the Council’s RSL partners (Port of Leith Housing Association, Link and Places for People) and various community led meanwhile uses on sites and buildings owned by the Council, including the Granton Castle Walled Garden and Madelvic Community hub.

Where possible, Granton’s heritage will be retained through investment in historic structures and buildings.


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