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Edinburgh business hub to be built in abandoned tram depot

In a £1.3m investment from the Scottish government, an Edinburgh business hub is set for launch in a tram depot, which has been unused for 60 years.
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The campaign to support Edinburgh business leaders comes in a joint investment, as the Scottish government provided a £750,000 grant alongside £530,000 from the City of Edinburgh Council.

Billed as a regeneration project, the Leith Walk tram depot will be brought back from the dead after remaining unused for six decades.

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The “at risk” listed building will act as flexible workspace for growing companies, with the goal to help create new job openings and training opportunities for locals.

Outside of Edinburgh business use, community services and voluntary work will also take place at the depot on a temporary basis.

Cllr Gavin Barrie, economy convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, 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.

Community and arts organisation Out of the Blue will collaborate with the council, managing units and space for Edinburgh business owners, entrepreneurs and artists.

Sea containers will be recycled and upgraded to give the site “meaningful use” while long-term plans are being decided on.

The Edinburgh business hub looks to include studios for artists and creative entrepreneurs, a social enterprise café that includes employment and training, as well as an educational facility and retail access.

Additionally, wooden huts from German Christmas markets past will be reused to create a street market, driving residents and tourists to the Edinburgh business area.

“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,” continued Barrie.

Image: Shutterstock

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Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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