Granton Waterfront – keeping community wealth-building at the heart of regeneration

Cllr Adam McVey,  Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council

Edinburgh is one of Scotland’s main economic drivers and it continues to evolve as a dynamic and futuristic city that puts people at its heart.  In regenerating Granton Waterfront, one of the seven strategic sites within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, the City of Edinburgh Council has an ambitious vision for creating an even greener, fairer city where the well-being of its citizens is paramount.

North Edinburgh currently suffers from some of the highest levels of deprivation in Scotland.  A further investment of around £1.3 billion will complete the regeneration that is well underway ensuring that community wealth-building and growing the economy in a sustainable way is fully realised.

National Galleries of Scotland, National Museums Scotland and Edinburgh College are three key partners in the Granton Waterfront regeneration.  Together, we have committed to promote and keep community wealth building at the heart of our plans.

New commercial, cultural and learning space totalling up to 30,000sqm will promote uses by local businesses and entrepreneurs, social enterprises, co-ops and community groups.  These community led enterprises will be supported to ensure that they can recruit locally, improving employment opportunities for those within the area.

In committing to grow and support local SMEs and sole traders, we’re encouraging circular economy principles through linking these businesses with local suppliers.

Some key initiatives are currently underway.  The Council has secured £1m of funding to restore the historic Granton Station building to bring it back to the community.  A funding bid is in place to allow for a further £1.6m of investment to fit out the building for use as a social enterprise hub by early 2022.  Beyond this, the Council has plans to renew the public realm surrounding the building and to promote its use for community events, markets and pop up stalls selling local produce.

We continue to support a community enterprise, Friends of Granton Walled Castle in their aim to restore the garden, once part of the now derelict Granton Castle, into a publicly accessible area for locals and visitors.

Working with our partners we’ve created a Learning and Work Strategy for Granton.  This will create a strong inclusive environment for learning, skills development and more and better work.  Next, we will establish a steering group that has representatives of key learning partners to develop collaborative opportunities and oversee delivery of actions contained within the strategy.

Ultimately, our inclusive growth and community wealth building agenda will be based upon public sector partners within Granton using their collective buying power to create community based economic development.  The aim being to ensure that wealth generated locally, remains in local hands.

You find out more about the Granton Waterfront here.