Save Leith Walk campaigners project images onto closed down buildings
The building at the forefront of the Save Leith Walk campaign was lit up with a projection of how the street could look.
The Edinburgh Evening News reported that messages for the Scottish Government to act were projected on to the vacant shop fronts at Stead’s Place.
Alongside these messages, images were shown of what the street could look like if it were filled with community shop instead of student flats, which developers have hoped to convert the street into.
A projected message read “To the Scottish Government – we know you will do the right thing by our community”.
Another said: “Save Leith Walk – there is power in perseverance, this is just the beginning.”
The outcry emerged as Drum Property Group (DPG) submitted a planning proposal to build student flats in January of this year. The proposal was rejected as it did not adhere to Scottish planning law, but DPG has appealed this ruling.
Regardless of the rejection, Leith Depot staff have said that they will have no other option but to close on October 1st as DPG have refused to renew or extend its lease until a decision is reached in the appeal.
Julie Carty, 42, who runs Leith Depot with Pete Mason, 51, and Paddy Kavanagh, 42, said: “We are acutely aware of the contribution that our business makes to our 15 employees, the community, the local economy and the local and national music scene. We remain optimistic that our government won’t allow this to go ahead because to do so, would set a precedent and that is; for any developer, to go into any community and conservation area, in Scotland, demolish it and force independent local businesses and people out. Without any doubt, we continue to support the Save Leith Walk Campaign and their mission for the community’s right to buy this building. Drum’s actions have led to an unwanted and unnecessary long-running saga and we are hugely grateful to have managed to continue to trade during it.”
Activists for the Save Leith Walk campaign are asking those living in the postcode area starting EH6 5*** to sign a petition to pledge their support for a community buy-out of the building.
Copies of the petition can be found at Leith Depot, Lovella and any of the regular Save Leith Walk street stalls.
Campaigners hope that the space could afterwards be rented at affordable prices for local businesses.
A spokesperson for DPG said: “We remain wholly committed to transforming the site following the council’s own guidelines and have lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government challenging the council’s subsequent decision not to grant planning approval. From the start, Drum has been entirely straightforward, transparent and consistent regarding our plans for the site.”