The tram depot at 165 Leith Walk, a fascinating 1930s structure, is currently undergoing demolition after many years of lying empty. From April 2018 until 2021, the site will be operated as a meanwhile space, after which it is to be redeveloped into housing by Edinburgh Council.

At the front of the site, the dilapidated building at 165A will be upgraded. The back of the site is to be used as storage for the future extension of the tram network along Leith Walk. In between these spaces, a large area will become an outdoor community-run space, housing artists’ studios as well as a number of huts to be re-configured by local groups. Exciting!

In collaboration with Out of the Blue, Edinburgh Council, Reiach & Hall and Hub Southeast, we have been involved in engagement for the site’s meanwhile use. By reaching out to local residents, running workshops and taking feedback, we are working to ensure the site serves and accommodates the needs of the local community. Most recently, we co-ran a workshop at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall on the 11th of November, where we discussed different potential uses for the site. You can find a report from this session here.

To build on these ideas, we helped facilitate another meet-up on Saturday the 20th of January, also at the Drill Hall. This event was aimed at bringing together residents to form a steering group for the site.

Many thanks to Kenneth G Williams for the archival photographs. Other photos are courtesy of Out of the Blue.