Exciting news, funding has been found and a contractor appointed to deliver Phase 1 of this project from Great Junction St bridge to the North Leith burial ground. P1 Solutions will begin on site on 27th November. Meaning the park and main route will be closed. A diversion will be in place. We know this will be an inconvenience for everyone but we hope this relatively short term pain will lead to a long term gain and a better more useable space for all. This image shows the route options and signage will be in place from 28th November.
Thanks to: Paths for All Ian Findlay Fund, The City of Edinburgh Council Place Based Initiative Fund, Leith Community Fund, Avondale Environmental (Scottish Landfill Communities Fund) & The Mushroom Trust. Plus support from Transport Scotland funding administered through Sustrans Scotland’s Network Development Fund
Meanwhile we will continue to develop ideas and plans for the ‘Dock’ stake spot for young people, art and seating installations upstream of the bridge, working with Edinburgh Wheels and LeithLate. Plans for this space were submitted to CEC Planning Department but there was not enough detail in the designs so we had to withdraw them at this stage. We hope to submit again before the end of the month. Then there is the small matter of funding this exciting collaborative community-led element of the project. Meanwhile join us for an information event on Wednesday 6th December at 6.30pm to 8.00pm
LATEST NEWS –
The Park will close and work will get underway on 27th November for 25 weeks a diversion will be put in place.
Biomatrix platforms go into the river- This May the very first element of this project was installed. We now have two ‘Biomatrix – floating habitat platforms’ in the river. One by the Walkway alongside Coalie Park and the other near Great Junction St bridge by the old State Cinema building. Top of the wish list these provide a space for nature to flourish above & below the water
Click on this link to see a video of the installation https://youtu.be/KOr2NDbZhF8
Project Background – At the end of the tidal flow of Edinburgh’s river lies Coal Hill – a coal depot, railway yard and place for ship repair. Regenerated in the 1980s, the area became known as Coalie Park. The site is an important ‘blue and green space’ and access route for the local community while being home to a surprising variety of wildlife. But there is great pressure on this dilapidated space now plagued by littering, graffiti and anti-social behaviour. Leith is also one of the most densely populated areas in Scotland and lacks quality greenspace for its residents and wildlife. During this project, we aim to:
- Enhance the ‘blue and green space’ for biodiversity.
- Improve the flow of user movement and re-establish peoples’ connection with the Water of Leith.
- Engage with local people and interested groups to see what practical steps can be taken to improve the area, what improvements local people would like to see in the area going forward.
To improve the area in 2020/21 a Landscape Proposals Document was produced by ELGT which was then used a mechanism for capturing feedback and for a period of community engagement. Due to COVID this was presented online and driven by social media and a local poster campaign. This community engagement was dubbed the ‘Coalie Conversation’, a frank conversation which needed to be had with the community and stakeholders to help finalise design ideas so funding the transformation can begin. This was completed in March 2021 and 450 people participated in an overwhelmingly positive way. A summary of the results are in the infographic below.
To drive this project forward we have formed the Coalie Collective – a project steering group made up from landowners, stakeholders, community group and local people. This group includes; Edinburgh and Lothian’s Greenspace Trust, City of Edinburgh Council, Scottish Water, The Community Council, Edinburgh Wheels, Friends of the Water of Leith Basin, SOS Leith, Leith Lates, Citadel Youth Centre, and the Community Police.
Thanks to funding from the National Lottery Community Fund in January 2022 we published a Coalie Park Improvement Plan – click on the link above to take a look. Over the past year we have been working on refining the plans and gathering support and funding to deliver this bold and transformative plan.
See the results of our Community Engagement below