Demolition day for schoolboy poster winner

Schoolboy Lewis Reynolds will be literally bringing the houses down this weekend!

The lucky nine-year-old has designed the winning entry in a poster competition for the demolition of the three multi-storey blocks in North Sighthill on Sunday (25 September).

As the winner of the competition he will push the plunger on the explosive charges along with local resident Maureen Murdoch and Councillor Norman Work, Vice Convenor of the Health, Social Care and Housing Committee.

Three local primary schools - Murrayburn, Broomhouse and St Joseph's - took part in the poster competition. All of the schools are near the three tower blocks that are coming down.

Pupils were asked to design a poster following a presentation on safety issues around the site by demolition contractors Safedem with the winning artist landing the prize of pushing the plunger.

Lewis said: "I am really pleased to have won the competition and can't wait to push the button to demolish the tower blocks. It's going to be great fun."

Murrayburn Primary School head teacher Michael Urquhart said: "The talks proved really popular and interesting for the children and they all enjoyed taking part in the competition.

"There were some really good entries but Lewis' entry really stood out. I'm sure he'll have great fun on the day bringing down the tower blocks!"

Councillor Norman Work, vice convener for housing at the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "I'm sure that Lewis will have a day to remember when he pushes the button and he fully deserves this prize as his poster is very dramatic.

"The demolition marks a new era for the regeneration of west Edinburgh and is part of our wider strategy for the future of social housing in Edinburgh which will create new properties fit for the 21st Century."

William Sinclair, Managing Director of Safedem, said, "Our Community Liaison Officers regularly visit schools to present safety information about our demolition sites. The pupils were really enthusiastic and put a huge effort into the competition.

"We will still be on site for several months after the buildings are demolished and it's extremely important that the children continue to be fully aware of being safe around the demolition site."

An exclusion zone will be set up on September 25 so the demolition can be carried out safely. A local rest centre will be set up for the residents who have to leave their homes nearby. 

Some roads near the buildings will be closed, parking restrictions will be in place and there will be some disruption to local bus services.

The demolition will be shown live on the Stevenson College website www.stevenson.tv/live and after the event it will also be shown on the Council's own You Tube channel www.youtube.com/edinburghcouncil

The redevelopment of the area will see up to 320 new homes for sale and rent, half of which will be affordable.

It is part of the City of Edinburgh Council's ambitious regeneration plans for the Capital - the 21st Century Homes project will see up to 1,300 new homes being built as part of new mixed tenure communities comprising 50% affordable housing (30% council homes for rent, 10% mid rent, 10% low cost home ownership) with the remainder for private sale.

The Council is leading on this major investment in these new homes, worth up to £150 million, that will be the first Council homes built in the city for a generation.

Areas included in the programme are Gracemount, North Sighthill and Pennywell and Muirhouse, where older housing has been demolished to make way for the new homes. The first new Council homes to be built will be in Gracemount where families are expected to move into early 2012.


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