Consultation Report about Leith Links former Bowling Greens

Report on a consultation with the local community on possible future development at the former bowling greens area (and building) on Leith Links Spring / Summer 2021

Between May and September 2021 Leith Links Community Council led a consultation exercise with the local community about possible future development of the currently derelict ‘Former Bowling Greens area’ on Leith Links. We are now publishing in full the results and views that emerged, and this report has also been forwarded to City of Edinburgh Council. This consultation took place in three parts:

  1.    The Community Council held a series of 3 public meeting, online, that were well attended, by around 30-40 people at each of three meetings. Discussions were Chaired and semi-structured but open to all, and free flowing.
  2.    The Community Council organised and hosted, with the help of volunteers from other local community groups, a Community Picnic, 17th July 2021. This was an in-person ‘live’ community event on site, attended by approximately 100 folk.
  3.    An Online Survey was hosted on the Leith Links Community Council website and disseminated also via social media (Facebook, Twitter). The survey was open for 2 weeks and attracted 199 responses.

The Report in full is very long, but well worth reading. You can download and read the whole report here. We present a summary of the report below:

Brief Summary

The community in Leith Links has been consulted, and has engaged in large numbers (250) and with, in many cases, lengthy responses. The views of the community are that:

  • The bowling greens area pavilion should not be demolished but should be refurbished at the Council’s expense and repurposed to include permanent public toilet facilities and a mix of other facilities (details to be determined) that will be at least partially open for use by the community, not ‘private’. Security lights, cameras and alarm system should be installed.
  • The outdoor area surrounding the building, currently delineated by the hedging, should be refurbished and repurposed so that it is attractive and thus will be well-used by a mix of people (all ages, no one particular age range), which should reduce the incidence of anti-social behaviour. A slight majority favour repurposing as an area primarily for outdoor activity / sport / fitness use (e.g. skatepark), although significant numbers also favoured ‘mixed use’ and a ‘quiet relaxing garden area’ – and many other possible uses, see Section 4 in the full Report.
  • This refurbishment is long overdue and should be at least started as soon as possible, rather than further delayed until the proposed Leith Links Master Plan can be completed. (It could be done in stages, as partners emerge, funding can be sourced etc.) In the immediate / short term, a cleanup, and installation of benches and litter bins is required.
  • The community must be properly consulted at all stages and properly represented as an equal partner throughout the process eg. via representation on Project Steering Group / Governance body, Master Planning team etc.. The community is also open to providing support in the form of volunteer input on agreed projects, if / as capacity permits.

The Community Council itself at this point does not have any particular stance or plan that it wishes to ‘back’ or promote, but rather sees itself primarily as a means by which information can be shared and community views collected, recorded and communicated to the Council. We trust there will be further two-way and ongoing communication with the Council.

Having said that, we should nonetheless make clear that the Community Council does have some views. We favour refurbishment of the building and the outdoor area, and we award very high priority to the installation of permanent public toilets. We do not oppose ideas for sports / activities, but would strongly argue to keep at least some of the area retained as green space, rather than being completely concreted over. Given the very wide ranging (and in some cases directly opposing) views from the community, it is clear that ‘you can’t please everybody’ and on that basis we might favour a solution that involves a degree of compromise or mixed use,  that might involve splitting the area into sub-areas, partnerships between different groups etc.

Download the whole report here

or just read on here….

Report on a consultation with the local community on possible future development at the former bowling greens area (and building) on Leith Links Spring / Summer 2021[1]


Public Meetings Online

On the basis of the open ended discussions at these online meetings, it was possible to establish definitively, that in a general sense, people in our area –

  • DO care very much about the bowling greens area and the building, they are NOT indifferent;
  • Understand that the park, including this area and building, is public good land and cannot be disposed of or repurposed by the Council or anyone else, without consultation with the community, as per the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015;
  • Understand that there are severe limitations on what can be built on the land, as per the Confirmation Act 1991
  • Have lots of ideas about what they think would be good ways to update and use the area and the building – some more realistic than others, perhaps…..
  • Are very aware that this area, which was already quite densely populated, is rapidly becoming more and more built up due to new high density housing developments on local brownfield sites. This greatly increases the value of local greenspace and makes it all the more important that it be appropriately purposed and well-maintained. The community would argue that new investment in local greenspaces, to serve this new population increase, is much needed and is just as important as in other aspects of local infrastructure (via Section 75 payments from developers?)
  • Feel that the council has let them down badly by letting this area of the park fall into such extreme disrepair, and expect that the Council should take responsibility for at least basic refurbishment (while understanding that funds are inevitably limited and that new funding might have to be found elsewhere for any ambitious new plans for the area to be initiated).

It also became clear that in spite of all the many and fertile ideas and aspirations for the area, in reality at this point in time there were only apparently two groups in particular who intended to put forward worked out and costed plans for the building / area. These are:

‘Bare Branding open access Community Print Workshop’


A group interested in a skatepark, that has gradually over the period formed itself into a proposed ‘Leith Links Activity Park project’

There may be other groups interested in approaching the City of Edinburgh Council about the facilities, but the Community Council is not at this time aware of any such.


Community Picnic, Saturday 17th July 2021

The purpose of the community picnic (apart from fun) was to (1) raise awareness of the large bowling greens area – many park users are simply unaware of its existence, because it is hidden by high hedges and can only be accessed by gates that they may never have noticed. And (2) to engage ‘live’ with actual park users – who are not necessarily at all the same people that would join and online meeting or even fill in an online survey. (The recent installation of temporary public toilet facilities here has also raised awareness of the area.)

We do not have a definitive record of exactly how many people attended the picnic – this was a very fluid and dynamic social event over a large area and spanning a time period of 2+ hours. Best estimate is ‘around 100’ people attended. However, not all of the attendees came over to read / discuss the consultation display boards or place stickers. For the purposes of this analysis, we have calculated on the basis of 50% (i.e., 50/100 people) having participated in the stickering process.

Participants were asked to place stickers in the boxes that best matched what -in an ideal world – they would like to see developed in the former bowling greens area. The list of suggestions was created from ideas that had been put forward at the online public meeting. We explained that this was indicative only –not a ‘vote’ with an outcome that could be actioned, at this stage anyway.

Each person got approximately 10 -12 stickers to distribute across a number of different boxes to indicate their preferences. A positive feature of this exercise was the number of children and young people who got involved and placed their preference stickers as they are often under represented by online surveys).

Attendees at the picnic also had the opportunity to talk to both of the groups with proposals for the area.

  • Noel Spencer from Bare Branding handed out leaflets about their proposals, and answered questions. For many, this would be the first time they had heard of Bare Branding, and many would not previously have a clear idea of what a community print workshop was.
  • The Leith Links Activity Park collaborative partnership set up a stall, answered questions and handed out materials to ‘advertise’ their proposals. This was a well-coordinated effort with professional looking leaflets etc. and a social media presence, and was quickly followed up by an online survey which attracted a large response, so their proposal achieved very high penetration.

Leith Links Community Council Online Survey, September 2021

The questions on this online survey reflected exactly the same questions that picnic goers had ‘stickered’ so that we could collate all the responses together from both sources. We are calculating on the basis of 250 responses. There were 199 responses to the online survey, and we’ve added in a notional 51 (rounding up) from the picnic. (There is a degree of possible overlap as some people may have attended the picnic, and replied to the online survey, but we cannot quantify this.)

In the tables below, the actual numbers of ‘votes’ are totalled. Most people recorded (as directed by the survey) 2 or more stickers / ‘votes’ per question, hence the vote totals will often exceed the number of responders.

Overall percentages are an estimate only (because picnic attendees were not counted accurately) based on this notional overall total of 250 responses (51, i.e., 50% of picnic attendees) plus 199 (the actual number of online responses)


The building should be…?
  Picnic stickers Online survey Total %
Demolished 0 23 23 9.2%
Refurbished 40 90 130 52%
Toilets 20 131 151 60.4%
Run by a private company 2 9 11 4.4%
Open Community resource 47 75 122 48.8%
Mixed purpose (or don’t know) 2 23 25 10%

Notes 1

Clear preference / substantial majority are for Refurbishment, Toilets and Open community resource.


This area should be mostly…?  
  Picnic stickers Online survey Total %
A quiet, relaxing garden area 5 29 34 13.6%
An area for active sport and fitness activities 27 93 120 48%
A hub for creative arts and crafts 33 18 51 20.4%
Mixed purpose (or don’t know) 18 59 77 30.8%


Notes 2

At the picnic, ‘A quiet relaxing garden area’ scored lowest here, and ‘a hub for creative arts and crafts’ scored highest. There was a noticeable discrepancy here between the picnic votes and the online votes. Online, there was a big majority of votes for ‘An area for active sport and fitness activities’ and only a small vote for ‘A hub for creative arts and crafts’

The high number of stickers in the ‘mixed purpose’ / ‘don’t know’ box indicates that a significant number of people don’t have a fixed view or would like some mixture of the purposes we suggested (or others not listed here).

Also Note that there was a substantial number of votes for ‘Flower Garden’ in Question 4, below, which potentially somewhat contradicts the low vote here.


Whose needs are the greatest?
  Picnic stickers Online survey Total %
Seniors 4 5 9 3.6%
Adults 0 6 6 2.4%
All, mixed, intergenerational 47 153 200 80%
Older kids / teenagers 19 34 53 21.2%
Young kids 7 1 8 3.2%

Notes 3

Here there is a very clear indication indeed that most people would ideally like to see an ‘all -age’ facility and /or opportunities for different ages to mix together. Next in order of priority (though with a lot fewer ‘votes’) came ‘older kids / teenagers.


Which ideas do you like best, as possible (maybe) futures for the area?

These were originally presented in more or less random / slightly alphabetical order, but have been re-sorted here below, to show the most popular ones at the top.

Which ideas do you like best, as possible (maybe) futures for the area?

Which particular ideas do you like best, as possible (maybe) futures for the area?
  Picnic stickers Online survey Total %
Public Toilets (permanent) 54 135 189 75.6%
Skatepark 57 75 132 52.8
Community Cafe





Meeting Space for Community Groups 24 66 90 36%
Flower garden, lots of benches 23 62 85 34%
Basketball court / multi-use courts (fenced) 14 52 66 26.4%
Bandstand (live music) 22 44 66 26.4%
Arts Hub, design, crafts 28 34 62 24.8%
Performance Space (music, theatre) 22 36 58 23.2%
Bookable ‘Village Hall’ 12 38 50 20%
BMX bike track 17 33 50 20%
Mini/Crazy Golf 14 29 43 17.2%
Outdoor Education 18 24 42 16.8%
Print Workshop 33 7 40 16%
Business pop-ups (e.g., food, other) 16 24 40 16%
Print Workshop 33 7 40 16%
Bike repair workshop 16 24 40 16%
Training for young people 21 18 39 15.6%
Organised / sociable games run by local organisation for vulnerable groups / individuals 4 Idea was added at the last minute, but not explained clearly by the originator, see 34 38 15.2%
Five-a-side football pitches 16 22 38 15.2%
Craft Fairs 18 12 30 12%
Baby Changing facilities 17 12 29 11.6%
Art Exhibitions 11 13 24 9.6%
Safe dog park 6 17 23 9.2%
Ordinary public park 7 14 21 8.4%
Community Wellness Hub, childcare, community co-working hub Not displayed – new idea added later 9 9 Incomplete score




Notes 4

Front runners are clearly Permanent Toilets, and Skatepark. There are some quite dramatic discrepancies between votes from the picnic and online, and it is probably not possible to speculate on why – other than to remember that the Print Workshop proposer was on hand at the picnic to explain his ideas further, and the Skatepark proposers were there to enthusiastically promote their ideas.

There are a few items on this list that could, in practice, be amalgamated, e.g., ‘Meeting Space for Communities’ might be seen as (almost) the same thing as a ‘bookable ‘Village Hall’. ‘Similarly, ‘Arts, Crafts, Design Hub’ might in practice be partly covered by ‘Print Workshop’ + ‘Art Exhibitions’. ‘Food business pop ups’ could be a similar thing / an alternative to ‘Community Café’.



Where do you live? How much do you use Leith Links?
  Picnic stickers Online survey Total %
I live near Leith Links, it is my local park, I go there very regularly Info 169 169 84.9%
I live in the general area; I visit the Links from time to time not 26 26 13.1%
I don’t live nearby, but I would visit specially if this area was developed as suggested here collected 6 6 3%


Notes 5

These figures seem to confirm that the majority of respondents are bona fide members of the local community.


What is your postcode?

It does not seem necessary / appropriate to list these here (though they are available to view if required). The question was inserted mainly as a ‘check’ item. Review of the post codes submitted shows that, as above in Q. 5, the vast majority of respondents are local.


What do you think are the most important things that need to be done, to make the area and building useful and attractive, for the community?

At the picnic, only 13 Ideas were submitted (hand-written on post its)

  • Having an area for all mixed ages and races.
  • That it remains in PUBLIC ownership.
  • That the building is flexible and multi-use.
  • Activities for 8–18-year-olds.
  • Plant trees for shade! (it was a very hot day!)
  • Self-funding, adequately maintained, and of benefit to the community
  • Adequate youth provision.
  • The solution shouldn’t be weather-dependent.
  • Inclusion
  • Training should be free and accessible to all.
  • I would like to see the spaces used all year round.
  • I really like the proposal from Bare Branding.

Online Comments

People obviously found it easier to respond to this question on the online survey; there are many comments! The fact that so many people took the trouble to comment shows that they care.

All (most) of the ideas are sensible and desirable, but – how realistic? Who has actually got the capacity to deliver this paradise?

Many of the comments are echoes / repetition of responses already provided in the preceding questions, often with additional ideas to expand on a basic suggestion.

For example, several people mention the need for good lighting, a security system, or a paid ‘Parky’ to monitor and supervise the area.

Ongoing involvement of the community is mentioned frequently, as is the use of volunteers.

Highlighted sections below indicate new ideas that have not been raised before elsewhere.

What do you think are the most important things that need to be done, to make the area and building useful and attractive, for the community?
Safe space actually used by people.
Refurbish building. Make available for hire by local community (speak to Duncan Place?). A garden area. Music.
A full refurbishment of the building, not just a lick of paint, and please please please NOT a skatepark. Anything other than that, it would be horrendous.
No loiter corners.
Things that can’t be easily vandalised. Attractive to high percentage of locals. Well managed and easily, cheaply maintained.
Involve and engage wider community every step of the way, permanent public toilets
I feel that the community needs to be involved in the design and refurbishment, eg ask for volunteer gardeners. Do not ask for answers and then ignore them … as the council usually does. There’s a great playground for the kids and a lively community cafe, but a space for flowers and benches for young and old, would be lovely.
Tidy up and ensure it is clean and safe. Include public toilets.
The area needs a purpose first and foremost. All else should then follow. The purpose of the building and the purpose of the surrounding grounds need not necessarily be co-dependant but there should be cooperation and a mutual concern for the area.
Any added utility would help – a lawn with trees is nice, but it’s a terribly Victorian idea of a park which doesn’t reflect what we now want from our public spaces.
Training for work via skatepark. Educating and training youths creating employment and regenerating the area
Needs to be supervised and kept clean and tidy at all times.
Toilets. Bookable space.
Security of whatever is there. Community cafe/ meeting place. Mental Health Fitness community space.
Accessible, inclusive, affordable.
Green space is at a premium in Leith so it would be good to keep the space as a garden area – providing some variety from the grass of the links but maintains the links with the natural environment.
Include locals in all aspects of planning. Give jobs to locals. All accessible areas.
It has to be something for Leithers. Affordable. Welcoming and purposeful. Involve the local schools (including Pilrig Park and Prospect Bank)!
Just getting use out of that area again would be a good thing.
Remove people who and drink there or smoke hash, its disgusting. Improve the area.
Worst suggestion yet is the guy with the printing company who wants it, get that idea in the bin.


Public park / sports / toilets but no concrete skatepark please.

A multi purpose sports pitch. Flowers and a few benches. Temporary toilets are excellent.
Much improved security and regular maintenance. Better policing of the area.


Remove the stigma attached to the building.
Integrate the folks from the neighbouring community garden in the decision making.
Add toilets
Used and well maintained.
Building with multi use for multi generations. Arts & crafts, community classes, meeting space, cafe. PUBLIC TOILETS. Big windows & bi fold doors that open into the outside space. Patio/seating. Flowers & planting (wild flowers too).


community hub. toilets. creative space. garden area.
Demolish and replace the current building with a purpose built structure. Install a community garden.


 Love the bandstand idea. No more arts spaces we have sufficient already. Focus on activities for older kids and the elderly.

a mural on building.


nothing noisy so it doesn’t disturb local residents.

Safety. cleanliness. well maintained.
Space for sports & activities, keeping noisy activities in one corner of the park (I’ve had more than one relaxing walk spoiled by loud music in the middle of the Links from an exercise group). I like the idea of plenty of benches too, but they could be elsewhere in the park.
It needs permanent public toilets for everyone, babies, disabled, adults and children. It needs a shelter from the elements of the weather all year round. Some sort of café would also be great. Having an area that supports local wildlife that people can learn about.
Minimal upkeep requirements by the council, non-manned facilities, but used and appreciated by all.

My reckoning is if the facilities are used sufficiently regularly, there will be no opportunity for vandalism too.

Reduced drug use.
Plants. seating.
Secure. Manned.
Remove the drunks and junkies who hang around it at the moment.
Things for adults
Make security a priority, CCTV for the area and have regular police presence even in just a community context.


Kept clean, free of litter, broken glass. Rats killed. Hedges cut regularly.
Remove the hedges. Currently you can hear voices but can’t see when it’s dark.
Sports area. Possibly events area. Toilets. Cafe.
Be well maintained and open to all.
Mixed purpose community center.
Kept clean and tidy, irregular police visits to discourage anti-social behaviour.
Anything would be an improvement. Public toilets are essential.
Skate park
Use it to promote and engage locals on climate change and other local issues – following on from the excellent festival on the Links in August. Ability to engage with locals so they feel they want to keep this place nice and feel empowered to enhance it – so it doesn’t revert to a local drinking venue. A mix of indoor and covered outdoor spaces with seating. Bins and recycling facilities (there are not enough bins and recycling on the Links in general with overflowing bins most mornings).

Facilities to showcase local talent – might be sporting or outdoor arts and crafts/skills or popup events – things that aren’t currently available in indoors spaces like the Kirkgate.


funding for ongoing maintenance of the building and surrounding land e.g. weeding around newly planted trees so they don’t just die, and to ensure it’s open at times that are useful to locals.


Consideration for nearby residents regarding noise generated from facilities or events e.g. a skate park would be quite noisy. Apart from the refurbished play area, I feel the state of Leith Links in general has deteriorated significantly over the last twenty years e.g. there used to be rose borders and bins were available in the middle, not just around the edge – so I really look forward to learning more about the masterplan and hope that happens soon!

Make it a local gathering place for all ages.
Secure lighting.


Hedges cut and tended


Better access

Refurb the building… tidy up the grounds
Include permanent public toilets


A space for young adults/teenagers. Some skatepark, basketball court etc
Refurbished. Maintained to a high standard
Nighttime Security
Outdoor seating. Sport or other activities on the old bowling greens. Toilets.
It would be nice to see the Old Bowling Green return and become a Bowling Green once again
Community need and consultation to be considered and whatever is decided then needs to be funded adequately and realistically to ensure it functions safely and is staffed too.
Get rid of rats, murals to stop graffiti
more activity things for All
Repurpose bowling greens.
Roof garden. Garden around it.
Needs to be vibrant and a focal point for the community.
Clean up. Refurbish. Make it useful. It’s been derelict for so long, it serves no purpose but a waste of valuable space.
I used to live on Leith Links. The most important thing is the building is occupied again to allow the community back into the space. Bowling greens used to the heart of the community and the future use needs to recognise this, but has to be viable. Community fitness classes. Intergenerational activities. A skate park.
Płace for kids to play- bump track, skate park
Refurbish or demolish the buildings so they can be used or the space can be used for something else, permanent public toilets, some sort of cafe/hub where people and families gather as this would deter people going there to drink and take drugs.
building made safe for use with toilets
Make sure it is has an attractive appearance, is of high quality and well lit at night.
Please no more football they have plenty space for that.
Should be repurposed in the most resourceful way, with as little impact on the environment as possible.


Trees to be reserved and added to if possible.


Consideration given to residents in terms of noise levels and visitors parking vehicles in nearby streets. Definitely don’t need any more cafes in the area! Community hub / classes for all / safe space for people to gather.

Make it safe rom break-ins , Keep it in good repair
Remove it
Easy access for wheelchairs etc and toilet facilities too
Public toilets. Meeting place for all ages.

Highlight Leith history.


Open the building rather than it being closed, lots of benches, bins, maybe some communal bbq’s
I helped develop an activity park idea which I think would bring life to the area, create and amazing facility for the local community and a destination for the rest of the city. Would see this making the area and building very attractive and useful for the community and wider city.
The building cannot be utilised until permanent toilet facilities are provided. Once toilets are available, the building should be refurbished to provide adequate power supply, wifi , lockers and storage for tables / chairs. Once toilets and refurbishment is complete the building can be leased out to a variety of community groups.
Make it accessible for everyone.
Toilets and recreation for older kids. Younger kids have lots of parks in the area but older kids have very few areas to socialise.
Rebuilding may result in a building which is more efficient to run so I’m not against demolition if it is a demolition with plans to rebuild. Funding or income generating activity to ensure sustainability.
you should make it a safe space for dogs so that dogs and owners use it and you have the rest of the links for others
Multi generation use. Not dominated by one group ie cycling.
Low hedges, clean facilities, bins, safe and well monitored environment
Accessible to all ages
Led by a governance body that takes in a wide range of age groups and areas of interest, I’d favour the building and former bowling greens being developed into mixed use spaces. Unbiased to one use/group or another, open to all. A flexible, ‘blank canvas’ for all. Somewhere that (whatever the weather) can accommodate pop-up performances / arts events / music / groups etc etc.


Green/leafy/flowery planting, with seating would be nice.

Tidy area and create something that isn’t on the links already that will be used.
public toilets
Have things happening in it, bring down hedges also – clear sightlines
Turn the old bowling greens into area which can be used for other activities. Refurb the building. Make it accessible to all.
Permanent toilets
Water and wind proof. Secure storage . Access to toilets.
Refurbishment and public use of toilets
Community has to have a sense of ownership. Needs to feel safe. Needs to be flexible use of space so all groups/ interests can access it, Audit other local areas to see what is currently provided or not.


Needs to be vandal proof landscaping.

The building should be demolished and a tiny, mini or dense forest should be created to aid climate, mental health and to compensate for the high density in Leith and loss of trees due to trams. We need green more than anything else.
Security and local pride
Refurb and landscaped
The bowling greens could easily be transformed into a skate park facility like the one in Duddingston.

Doesn’t need to be Saughton sized.


A performance space in the building would be good as would permanent toilets. Failing that some 5 a side pitches would be very well used.

Make it safe space for locals
Tidy it up so that it looks less run down and make it a useful, useable space. A lot of the links is already taken up with sports groups so it would be good to have a quieter area away from the sports.
refurbish building. public toilets. skatepark for all ages.
mixed age use. skate park. toilets. baby changing facilities. refurbish building.
it should look cared for. it should be properly landscaped and this should be properly maintained.


There should be a core of volunteering opportunities – to look after the building and the outdoor space.

Intergenerational opportunities – including unusual ones – could be on offer (speak to The Citadel for info/advice). It should be genuinely ‘open’ – not seen as being owned by one group or a ‘clique’ – folk won’t go then. It should feel light, airy, bright, colourful (not necessarily bright or zany – but not bland). It would be great to have ‘taster’ sessions on a range of arts/crafts/skills that folk could then develop in other places if they liked it.

I think the building should be demolished and a new one put up in its place, built for purpose with toilets. Community Centre with different classes and activities (cèilidh, toddler group, knitting circles etc).
Refurbishment. Toilets.
Make the space safe, and attractive for pre-teens and teens
Toilets. Vandalism proof. Designed to require minimal upkeep
It needs to be useful and accessible to the whole community, and flexible so that it can be different things at different times to different groups e.g. families with young children / the disabled / older children and teens, space for conversation / space for creativity / space for learning etc. (I’m thinking along the lines of The White House in Craigmillar, which is used by all sorts of local groups and schools for various reasons, and the café is usually pretty buzzing too.)
It would be good to have more allotments. Good lighting so it’s safe. Can be used all year round. Bring jobs and businesses to the area. Something for everyone. Attracts visitors. It’s needs to be well.maintained and have good security, keep out trouble makers.
A cafe run by people in the community who do not normally have opportunities to engage.
Good facilities, good architecture , quality finishes
Well being/health support for young children/young adults.
Facilities for teenagers, flower garden, toilets, picnic tables
Better routine maintenance, hedge trimming etc. A prompt refurbishment of the building. Provision of benches. And then an options appraisal of how to develop/improve the whole site in an imaginative and inclusive way.
Make it a community space
Have toilets,be a safe space for everyone, somewhere where older children can hang out but also somewhere where elderly people/young families could hang out during the day. We are also in a dire need of a cafe at the park!
Skate park please
Build a bandstand, modernise bowling club as changing/rehearsal area for performers.
Toilets and landscaping
Make it an area for use by all age groups. Proper security.
Toilets, use of the building for activities or meeting place, repurposing of bowling greens for activities and specially for younger people to give them somewhere to meet and have fun. Encourage them to look after the area rather than causing damage etc
Toilets, use of the building for activities or meeting place, repurposing of bowling greens for activities and specially for younger people to give them somewhere to meet and have fun. Encourage them to look after the area rather than causing damage etc
Better waste management, more benches/seating, restore outbuilding
Safe. Toilets. Accessible. Welcoming.
Make it unattractive for people drinking and smoking drugs.
Must be well maintained
Regular upkeep,
Keep it clean and tidy. Well maintained.
A permanent, friendly and efficient Park keeper. Helpful simple signage, and encouragement to use the facilities. Pétanque pitch better signposted and equipment available to rent.
toilets. cafe. arts and crafts exhibits.
Refurbish the buildings, if possible. A skatepark with space for roller skaters would be great.


 There should be a community cafe, especially since the Croft is next door. The café could have spaces for community groups to meet. The needs of the immediate community who live near Leith Links should be given priority

Toilets. Accessible for all.
Get rid of Links Garden road to double the amount of continuous green space.
Involve older children and teens in the renovations possibly through schools and community groups/ local sports groups so the area’s future is relevant to younger people. As well as providing space for activities, extra benches for older people to relax would be gratefully appreciated.
Update the building and make it a useful space that can be used by the community. An affordable space to use and hire.
I think public toilets looked after by the council
Essential maintenance to create a multi-purpose community space.
Permanent public toilets, skate part/something for older kids.
Lighting. Make it a safe space.
Seating. Toilets. Changing rooms. Sports for all
Tidy it up. Must provide toilets. Move adult gym from the park to there. No football they have enough of the park
The park needs something it doesn’t already have. I think I nice little cafe would be a good addition
Public toilets with baby changing. Include good bins/recycling in plans and a schedule for regularly emptying them.
Make sure whatever happens has a plan to be sustainable going forward
Permanent toilets, recreational areas to supplement the kids park and tennis courts – more inclusive for all ages
Refurbished inside and outside
The introduction of an old style “parky”, alternatively the area should be monitored closely in order that whatever is put there is (a) not vandalised, (b)not used in a way which will affect neighbouring properties.
To bring the building up to date and able to be used for multi purpose.
It should complement the existing Leith Links Community Croft, and interconnect with it. I’d like to see the current bowling green buildings replaced with a compact, functional, dynamic and multipurpose building, with outdoor cafe and publicly available toilets. Perhaps the large vacant shop on the next corner (which used to be run as a car showroom) could be developed in tandem, and converted to a gallery. I would very much like to see a creative hub, as Leith needs something like Portobello’s Tribe Porty and Art Walk Porty, but perhaps not at this particular site, as a bigger space with more footfall and better access might be needed – for example somewhere on Leith Walk or Constitution Street.
Even the surface, refurbish building, build open stage
Something inclusive for all people and not specific to the gentrified nature of families with large expendable income.
attractive accessible building and gardens
Demolished. Must have toilets, multi functional, multi uses.
I think a multipurpose space that is accessible to all whether that is art or sport
A skatepark could be modelled on the Treverlen Park skatepark.
It needs to have a purpose. The skate park and activity park suggestion seems to be the strongest and one with plans.
Community led arts
Managed resources to encourage positive, active lives


Change with all ages in mind
Better lighting in the links and surrounding area.


Paint Building.
Security and ensure its well maintained.
Community consultation and involvement. Toilets to encourage more use of the links. Available use for all in the community.
The area should be well maintained and looked after in order to set a standard and attract people to enjoy good quality amenities and respect them.
Get rid of the awful Abbott’s Hotel and residents who hang around on the street, and on the bowling green, drinking, being antisocial and intimidating.

Renovate it into a building and green space that looks tidy and attractive and worth looking after.


Light and open
Include toilets
Generally tidy the place up and find a good use for the space to welcome locals and visitors.
Sport or fitness area for all
Tidy up, make safe for all,
Community involvement. Public toilets. Space for teenagers – for organised and also spontaneous activities. Things for the kids (and adults) who don’t like football or cricket. Skate park. Attractive hanging out areas – seating, planting, sun and shade.

Data shows that sports areas (tennis, basketball courts, pitches etc) tend to be dominated by boys whereas girls favour creative play in smaller, semi enclosed areas. Most of the links is given to sports pitches much of the time. A small area of interesting surfaces – seating, sunken area, low walled planting, small trees would provide variety and space for the less team sport inclined.

Safe for people to use
Refurbishment of the building
Leith to be given the same investment as other more affluent areas of the city.
Open to everyone. Affordable hire rates (if applicable). 7 day access. Permanent onsite warden/caretaker. Secure public wifi. Clean, safe public toilets!
maintenance of landscape (hedges, grass area, etc.), regularly cleaned up (litter/trash), more benches, add business of some sort that attracts people there (coffee shop, cafe, etc.)
Help the vulnerable round about, ie people sitting smoking hash, drugs and drink in the bowling green. No one wants to see that when out
Refurbishment of the building, general activity and social buzz, public toilets, community use
I do think you need to consider safety aspect especially of children/ young people given that often people from hostel across the road choose to gather/ drink alcohol there. My daughter got a real fright from one man who was staggering and appeared to be under the influence and she refuses to walk there now. I have full sympathy with those dealing with addiction issues. If the area is to be used for child-friendly activities then I think some thought needs to be given as to how it is ensured that the two co-exist safely.


Safe place for kids.


Somewhere for food.

I think it needs to be an attractive area, so that it becomes well populated, which will reduce antisocial behaviour and vandalism. The hedges may have to come out, which is a shame as regards biodiversity, but they currently hide the area and encourage antisocial behaviour. I don’t think the area can be one thing only, eg. a skatepark, I think it needs to offer shared use, eg. more flowers trees and benches, and also an activity / fitness / sporting area. Noise is an issue as the area is very close to housing.



[1]This consultation was started well before any mention was made of a ‘Master Plan’ for Leith Links as a whole. We have since been informed that a Leith Links Master Plan process is being initiated, and, naturally, the Community Council will be participating actively in that process. At every stage, we will be emphasising how important we feel the involvement of local community groups, residents and park users will be.