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The Scottish Government has awarded a £750,000 grant towards a community hub project in Edinburgh. The scheme will see part of the old tram depot on Leith Walk regenerated into a new community and business hub for local residents. A further £400,000 is being provided by the council towards the development, enabling work to start on-site later this year.

The Government grant is part of a £25m fund released to support 29 community projects across country.

The ‘at risk’ listed building located at the front of the site will be turned into flexible, affordable work spaces for early-stage businesses, including a temporary community services hub for the voluntary and public sectors.

Sea containers will be recycled and upgraded to create new space until long term plans for the site are secured. Options for the units include studios for artists and other creative entrepreneurs, a social enterprise café providing employment and training opportunities and a community arts education/ retail facility.

Reconditioned wooden huts from a former German Christmas market will also be reconditioned to create a draw for residents and visitors alike.

Cllr Gavin Barrie said: “This is welcome funding from the Scottish Government and I am delighted that this project can now go ahead providing new jobs and training places for local people. The community hub will deliver vital services to people in Leith Walk and the wider Leith area, which is one of the most densely populated and fastest growing places in Scotland. The business units and street market will create a real buzz on Leith Walk and will address the critical shortage of space for artists and other creative entrepreneurs in Edinburgh.”

Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I am delighted that the Leith Walk area will benefit from this injection of funding and the exciting plans look certain to support the regeneration of the area.”

Source – Build Scotland

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