Creative talents transform streets of Leith

The streets of Leith were transformed into outdoor art galleries this month as the Window Wanderland concept visited the area for the first time.

The event was organised by Port of Leith Housing Association’s (PoLHA) subsidiary company Quay Community Improvements (Quay) which enabled community groups in the EH6/EH7 postcodes, and shop owners and residents in and around the Great Junction Street, New Kirkgate and Constitution Street areas to decorate their windows.

The event received financial backing from the Big Lottery Awards for All fund, and support from the City of Edinburgh Council, Dr Bells Family Centre, Multi-Cultural Family Base, The Junction (young people’s service), YMCA, Inspiring Leith, Leith Creative and other local businesses.

Quay used Big Lottery funding to supply arts materials for workshops, and provided artists to support participating residents and groups to create window displays for the event.

Clare Halliday, business & communities initiatives manager at Quay Community Improvements, said: “The aim of Window Wanderland is to engage with the community of Leith and to celebrate the area by encouraging local people and visitors to go for an evening walk around the neighbourhood to admire the artwork.

“It has a proven track record in bringing communities together, attracting new visitors and business. We’re aiming to make that happen here in Leith too and to transform the streets for everyone to enjoy.”

Lotte Walters from Leith Festival, which is creating a window display for the event, said: “Window Wanderland is a great opportunity for the Leith community to come together and for us to raise the profile of our organisation and get people talking to us about the future of their festival. We can’t wait to see what Leithers come up with for their windows and to have the chance to get out and talk to everyone who is taking part in the event!”

Ian Dyson, Inspiring Leith co-ordinator, said: “Window Wanderland is an accessible way for local people to get involved in a creative activity and Great Junction Street will benefit from something positive taking place bringing the community together.”