Coalie Park Project

So work is progressing well with Phase 1 and we are hopeful that the park will re-open at the end of the month but we do need some dry weather for the resin surfacing to be installed. 

At the moment the space remains close and a diversion is in place. 

But we are delighted with the work so far and we are looking forward to the space re-opening. 




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 is in place. 

Diversion Route for Walkers, Cyclists and Wheelers

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 are currently seeking planning permission for Phase 2 of the project comprising development of seating area with planters, creation of skate features, improvement to existing seating areas and paths and creation of public art works and street art murals in the area to the west of the bridge – check out Edinburgh Councils Planning Portal to see the design or comment the ref no is 24/00957/FUL. But in the meantime the area along the riverside will be repaired and upgraded and we hope this contractor will start mid May. 



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

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.

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See the results of our Community Engagement below