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Support for business

Tram artist impression constitution streetSupporting local business throughout the works

Our aim is to maintain the vibrancy, desirability and accessibility of the streets affected by the Trams to Newhaven Project

The Council and the project’s contractors have committed over £2.4m of funding to support local business via a series of measures intended to maintain the accessibility, vibrancy and desirability of the affected streets. The primary aim is to provide support to the diverse range of independent businesses along the route.

Recognising that the tram works have the potential to affect business as usual in the local area, the Council previously invited feedback from the local business community on a set of measures. These measures have now been developed following feedback from local traders, members of the public and interest groups. An outline of the measures we are putting in place going forward, along with more details on how these will work, can be found below.

Support measures in detail

Logistics hubs

  • Opened November 2019 on Mitchell Street.
  • June 2020 at the Foot of the Walk, Dalmeny Street, Albert Street and Montgomery Street.

Five logistics hubs at strategic locations between Leith Walk and Constitution Street. This means that goods coming into or out of a business, where loading cannot be accommodated, will only need to be transported by you or our team over short distances.

Logistics officers

  • help businesses get goods into and out of their premises, where access is difficult and will also provide best in class customer service
  • have been trained in manual handling, lifting and moving heavy loads and are fully insured to carry out their work

Businesses should book slots in advance, where this is practical to do so.

Residents can also speak to the logistic officers about bulky items they are having delivered such as sofas and fridge freezers.

On-street customer service staff

November 2019 to summer 2021

Our logistics officers have been trained, in collboration with Edinburgh Trams, to provide best in class customer service and advice.

Each of our team members will become local champions for the area in which they work, getting to know local businesses and business owners, local facilities and residents.

We offer help with accessing services to those with limited mobility or disabilities.

Provide directions to assist people in finding displaced bus stops, taxi ranks, bike parking and other relocated transport options affected by the works

Business support team

November 2019 to summer 2021

The team help

  • businesses build on their business case and plan for the years ahead, through the works and beyond.
  • businesses access free improvement courses in areas such as web design, e-commerce and marketing
  • signpost businesses to other support routes and funding for things that are related to improving how businesses operate and provide support and assistance in making applications to these schemes.

Open for business campaign

  • November 2019 - Constitution Street campaign launches.
  • Summer 2020 - Leith Walk campaign launches.

Local on-street and in-store marketing making use of site hoardings, street art, and a wide variety of other media to make sure the message is loud and clear

Promotion on digital channels.

Signage, maps and multiple crossing points for pedestrians and cyclists through the worksite.

Wider wayfinding across the city for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers with advertising banners and clear route finding on key approach roads and cycle paths.

Local discounts funded by the Council

We are working with deal site itison’ where customers can purchase vouchers online to spend in local stores at a discounted rate. The discount is funded by the Council.

Remittance for deal site vouchers redeemed in store will be made to the businesses by the Council.

Businessses will receive 100% of the voucher's value.

If you are a business taking part in the discount scheme download our digital itison toolkit to help promote voucher redemption via your own online channels.  

Keeping the local area clean and attractive

  • Street cleaning in November 2019
  • Street art project Summer 2020  

Full-time street cleaner to keep the streets clean and clear of litter and dog fouling.

A scheme to enliven the street that will include a collection of small and larger murals on street furniture based along the route.

Free cargo bike hire

  • Winter 2019/spring 2020 on Constitution Street
  • Summer 2020 on Leith Walk

We are working with SUSTRANS to introduce cargo bikes to Leith Walk and Constitution Street. This will allow local business to make use of them to service deliveries to customers and move goods around.

Our logistics team are currently trialing bikes, trikes and trailers at our Mitchell Street hub ahead of a full roll out across Leith Walk in 2020.

Temporary parking areas

We have created temporary waiting areas spaces within the construction site on Leith Walk (Foot of the Walk and by Pilrig Street) for customers to use for up to an hour at a time. There is pre-exsisting Pay & Display parking at Elm Row.

Business Continuity Fund - please note that in light of COVID 19, the Business Continuity Fund criteria is currently being reviewed. 

  • November 2019 on Constitution Street
  • Spring 2020 on Leith Walk

The Trams to Newhaven Business Continuity Fund has been established to provide a means of support for businesses that suffer short-term cash flow issues during the construction of the project. This will give those businesses affected businesses access to funds that will help to alleviate any short-term pressures on business operations. The criteria for accessing this fund is set out below.

To be considered for financial support from the business continuity fund, a business must:

  • be situated on a street affected by the tram works (or on a side street whose only access is from an affected street or in the immediate vicinity of the works)
  • have been operational for at least 6 months prior to construction start date at this location;
  • have had Trams works outside their door for more than 3 months;
  • derive the majority of its revenue from customer footfall; and
  • be an independent retailer with no more than 4 branches

What qualifies for funding?

  • Rent payments
  • Staff overheads e.g. wages
  • General operational costs e.g. utility bills
  • Business rates
  • Other costs agreed as essential at the discretion of the Council

Level of financial contribution

To ensure that the fund operates in an effective way and works for the largest number of businesses as possible, there are some limits on the level of financial contribution that each individual business can qualify for:

  • Maximum number of single payments to each affected business over the construction period:2
  • Maximum amount paid out in any single payment £3000
  • Maximum fund available to any qualifying business over the construction period £6000
  • There will be a minimum waiting time of three months between each application

Apply for support

Apply by email to [email protected]

You must provide evidence of financial difficulties via bank statements and accounts as requested.

Community fund

A fund to support local arts groups, community groups, artists and festivals.