Edinburgh Waterfront

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New apartment buildings in the Edinburgh Waterfront area on a site that formerly housed port-related industries

Edinburgh Waterfront is a redevelopment of parts of Edinburgh along the shores of the Firth of Forth in Leith and Granton. There are three main landowners: Arcus (formerly Forth Ports), National Grid plc and City of Edinburgh Council. Since the area was masterplanned in the early 2000s it has undergone significant change with approximately 1400 new homes in the Granton area and 900 in Leith, 41,000 square metres (440,000 sq ft) of retail development at Ocean Terminal, new food retail stores at both Leith and Granton, the new Telford College at Granton, and approximately 16,000 square metres (170,000 sq ft) of commercial office space.

Decontamination has also been carried out across Edinburgh Waterfront and land reclaimed at Western Harbour for future delivery of housing. A new road, Waterfront Avenue, has been constructed at Granton along with a 110 acres (45 ha) public park as part of National Grid’s Forthquarter development.

Following the recession of 2008 a new Area Development Framework has been prepared by the planning authority reflecting a flexible approach to future development. Some of the existing business uses including Leith Docks will continue for the foreseeable future providing much needed employment in the area. The Waterfront will provide a mix of uses and already houses the Scottish Government Office at Victoria Quay. Leith will be the location of the first projects in the UK to be funded by Tax Incremental Finance; the use of future non-domestic rateable income to finance capital projects.

Tourism remains an important sector in the local economy with the Royal Yacht Britannia attracting 500,000 visitors each year and a new waterside promenade already started which will link the river Almond at Cramond to the Esk at Joppa allowing access to 18 kilometres of walkway/cycleway.

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