Student Accommodation in Manderston Street Bingo Hall?

This is not technically in the Leith Links Community Council area, but it sits right on the boundary.

Developers are proposing to redevelop the old Bingo Hall in Manderston Street into purpose built student accommodation. (The current Bingo operators Club 3000, will move to new premises in Ocean Terminal, summer 2024.)

The building is not a historical listed building, but it is part of the Leith Conservation Area, and is an iconic building and local public institution.

Is student accommodation what we need in this location? If not, what does the Leith community need / want to see there?

Please go along to the public exhibition this Wednesday 17th January, between 4pm and 7:30pm to hear and see what the developers are proposing. And please make your views known to them, at this early stage, before they actually put in a formal planning application. This is what they have to say:

Former Leith bingo hall to be redeveloped – Public Consultation Event – Wednesday 17th January, at McDonald Road Library

Developer Longstone Limited has unveiled plans to conserve and redevelop the existing bingo hall on Manderston Steet into new student homes. This is in response to a local desire to preserve the building, located in the Leith Conservation Area, and address a chronic undersupply of student accommodation in the capital.  

The existing building is in poor condition and is extremely energy inefficient. 

The conservation and retention of the property does restrict its uses and following the building’s inclusion in the Leith Conservation Area, the potential to use the site for housing was explored.

However, the building is not well-suited to a residential conversion and a viable scheme would fail to comply with many of the Council’s planning policies for new housing (for example, dual aspect dwellings and minimum open space requirements). If housing were to be delivered, it would require the demolition of the building.

The proposed use as student homes allows for the creation of a high-quality development that complies with the Council’s student housing policies, while also retaining and enhancing the elements of the building that contribute to the surrounding Conservation Area.

The use of the space for student homes, will also serve to free up residential properties that otherwise would have been used by students, whose numbers in Edinburgh’s universities have grown by over 25% between 2016/17 and 2021/22 (Cushman & Wakefield Student Needs Assessment, July 2023).

While a public consultation event is not a statutory requirement, a newsletter promoting this has been circulated locally and can be accessed here. This consultation event will take place on Wednesday 17th January 2024 between 4:00pm and 7:30pm in McDonald Road Library, 2-8 McDonald Road, Edinburgh EH7 4LU. 

Exhibition boards detailing the project will be available at the event, as well as from the project website ( on the day of the event. 

Orbit Communications


Some previews of their plans are available elsewhere: