Arts charity to bring 19th century Edinburgh station ‘back to life’

A 19th century former Edinburgh train station building is to be occupied by an arts charity once redevelopment work is complete, the capital’s council has announced.

Kier Construction began works on the £4.75 million project in June, with it due to be completed by early 2022.

The building, which first opened in 1846 before its closure in 1925, will act as a ‘high quality’ creative workspace once reopened – with a new public square being featured in front of the facility.

The City of Edinburgh Council said that Wasps’ move into the building will see the creation of a cultural hub – which will provide space to support around 40 jobs, as well as helping some 100 people each year with creative business development opportunities.

The arts and social enterprise charity will deliver a heritage programme for local people and railway enthusiasts on the unique history of the location, as well as providing exhibition space to showcase local talent.

Councillor Rob Munn, convener of the finance and resources committee at the City of Edinburgh Council, said, “I’m delighted that the Committee has approved the lease for this historic building so Wasps can now start putting their exciting plans into place to bring this fantastic piece of Edwardian architecture back to life.

“The arts and cultural activities and events planned by them will attract thousands of visitors to Granton Waterfront, as well as nurturing artistic and cultural talent in the local area.”

Audrey Carlin, Wasps’ chief executive officer, added, “This is a fantastic opportunity for Wasps and for the area, as part of a wider cultural regeneration initiative. Wasps already supports 180 artists in Edinburgh, and this new facility, at the gateway into Granton, will incubate more digitally based creative people.

“On completion it will attract a diverse and vibrant community to the heart of Granton, and provide new opportunities for established communities in North Edinburgh, while acknowledging the heritage of the building and its connection to the city. The project also offers new employment and community engagement opportunities, something we have helped to foster successfully at other locations across Scotland.”