Leith Local History Society

After an absence of two years due to covid Leith Local History Society returns with a programme of talks over the next five months. Unfortunately numbers of people attending meetings have dropped as some members have moved on.

It would be great to see new faces so if you’re interested in finding about the history of the local area it would great to see you

The next meeting of the Leith Local History Society will be held on Tuesday 17 Jan. at 7.00pm in Leith Community Centre. The Talk will be – Old and New Leith a series of slides comparing how Leith has changed in the last 150 years.



Best wishes

Jim Scanlon

Leith Links Community Council voices support for street trading licence application relating to former Police box on Leith Links

A few weeks ago City of Edinburgh Council informed us that it was considering an application it had received from someone seeking a street traders licence in relation to the disused former Police box on Leith Links. Representations in relation to the application could be submitted by any interested party, including our Community Council.

We have not yet been advised whether the application has been granted, or not.

In response to the application we submitted the following representation;

Dear Sir,

Representation relating to Street Traders Licence application 48396.

On 7 December 2021 we were informed by you that a Street Traders License application (48396) relating to the Leith Links Police Box area was being considered, and that representation could be made by 4 January 2022.

Having considered the application notice & site map before us I can advise that Leith Links Community Council SUPPORT this application.

In doing so we offer the following comments;


  1. As is customary with civic licensing matters very little information has been made available to this Community Council, or the wider community. As such, it is difficult for the Community Council, or indeed other respondents, to be able to fully understand the situation or fully consider the benefits or implications for our community. We would take this opportunity to encourage City of Edinburgh Council to ensure that on every occasion it engages with our Community Council that it does so meaningfully, and ensures that both parties are privy to any information required in relation to the topic being considered.


  1. We understand that it is the intention of the applicant to trade hot & cold drinks and snacks. There are of course number of other businesses trading near the former Police Box, some of whom sell similar products however we do not believe that this application should result in an overprovision, based on the operating hours of nearby businesses which are very different from the proposed trading hours permitted by this application.


  1. The Police box has previously attracted vandalism, in the form of both graffiti and fly posting. Since the 1980s is has been well established that graffiti and vandalism, as well as being unsightly, can cause people to feel unsafe and can negatively influence how people conduct themselves in an area with such occurrences. As such we feel that bringing the Police Box into meaningful use will deter any further graffiti & fly posting, but will also provide the prompt removal of any which does occur.


  1. Three well used footways converge at the site of the Police Box, where there are also two signalised pedestrian crossings crossing well busy roads. These footways and crossings are used by a wide spectrum of community members, including many who benefit from having the publicly owned footway kept clear of obstructions. The Council should appropriately monitor the locus for any such obstructions, and have in place provision to deal with any such non permitted encroachments promptly and effectively. It should also be noted that due to the close proximity of two schools, there are often children using the pavement in front of the applicants site to make to their way to and from school.


  1. The business operations of the Police Box should not encroach onto the common good land of Leith Links, in example the grassed areas or the footpaths within. This should include not using the greenspace for the storage or any other positioning of refuse, stock, tables and chairs etc.


  1. It is likely that a large number of Police Box patrons will carry their purchased goods into the Leith Links greenspace for consumption. We are concerned that this could generate additional waste, which may be in significant amounts, especially during periods of sunny and or hot weather. As such we would ask that consideration is given as to whether there is enough litter bin capacity within Leith Links, or whether there are additional litter bins needed, and also whether current litter bins require to be moved position within the greenspace. We would request that appropriate monitoring takes place over coming months, particularly during hot and or sunny weather periods.


  1. As the Police Box is located directly adjacent to a busy road, near a junction, the operator should take appropriate steps to ensure that no vehicle servicing the Police Box, such as the operator, their staff or suppliers utilise the pavement or roadway in such a way so as to cause a nuisance or safety risk whilst parking or loading/unloading, including ensuring that no such vehicle mounts of the footpath or greenspace. Consideration should be given by the Council as to whether the current yellow lines are appropriate or whether it requires to take further measures to make them enforceable, and of course regular monitoring of this location should take place.


  1. Leith Links can generally be described as a busy and well used greenspace, for a variety of purposes. Visitor numbers can grow considerably during periods of significant sunshine & heat, and during organised events such as Leith Festival Gala Day. It is our view that it is important that appropriate visitor amenities are provided within the Leith Links greenspace area such as adequate litter bin provision, toilet facilities and seating. The provision of drinks & snacks being available from the Police Box we will add to the visitor experience in a positive manner.


  1. We are aware that in November and December 2021 the applicant has undertaken business activity at the locus, similar to that for which the license is sought, without any complaints or concerns being raised with us.


  1. Council waste bins provided in Leith Links, and in the streets adjacent to the Police Box are provided for non-commercial usage, as such the applicant will require to have in place their own trade waste removal arrangements. We would seek to request that all trade waste is kept off the greenspace or public footway at all times. And that should trade waste be left on a pavement for collection that the business has in place proper arrangements to keep control of such waste to ensure that it is not unsightly or becomes scattered across the footpath or greenspace. Where such refuse becomes scattered, either by seagulls or misdemeanour of passing persons, that the applicants assumes full responsibility and clears any such debris promptly and without any costs being incurred by the local authority.


  1. We would suggest and encourage the applicant to minimise the use of disposable and single use packaging where at all possible.


  1. The locus is adjacent to busy roads, no doubt there are fumes being produced by many of the vehicles using those roads which may render seating at those locations as being unpleasant, however the level of exposure would not be greater than a person standing at the nearest bus stops, as such we have no serious concerns relating to this matter, and view this as a matter of choice for the patrons themselves to consider whether they may use of such a facility or not.


  1. We would encourage the City of Edinburgh Council to include this applicant, as well as other businesses operating within or very nearby to Leith Links to be considered stakeholders and to be consulted/notified of planned events on Leith Links as well as be involved in any discussions about the future of Leith Links.


We hope that you, and any other appropriate City of Edinburgh Council colleagues will read, consider and record our comments, and where appropriate undertake any necessary follow up activity.

It would be of interest to us to be notified of the outcome of your deliberations, such as whether the license is granted, and any applicable terms & conditions which would apply.

Should you wish to discuss this response with our Community Council please do not hesitate to contact Community Councillor Sally Millar, Secretary, by emailing contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk.






A New Years message from Leith Links Community Council

This time last year when we watched television reports of a new virus in China followed by people being trapped on cruise ships and then as it progressed through Italy. Even at that point I don’t think it sunk in that within months we would be under similar lockdowns. Like many other people I was sent home from my job in March and from May I have had to learn to work from home.

I don’t like it as I miss the social interaction with colleagues but importantly I’m safe, healthy and employed.

As Chair of Leith Links Community Council I’m extremely proud of our team of community councillors who adapted quickly to the changing ways we had to engage with the community.

From March we moved to having our meetings on line using Zoom and then Teams so we could continue to work on issues where we have an input including areas like planning and Seafield Sewage plant.

It’s been a difficult year for members of our community and on behalf of Leith Links CC I wish to say our thoughts are with you if you have lost love ones as a result of this pandemic or have found yourself unemployed through no fault of your own.

The discovery of new vaccines which have been produced in record time give us some hope that next year we may see the return of some normality in our lives and be able to meet up again with friends and family.

I hope that 2021 is good to you but for the time being please stay safe.

Community Councillor Jim Scanlon MBE
Chair of Leith Links Community Council

Alcohol license variation application: 142 Duke Street

City of Edinburgh Council have made us aware that they are processing a license variation application relating 142 Duke Street.

  • Reference:  424444
  • Applicant: Admiral Taverns Picadilly Limited
  • Agent: MacGregor Thomson Solicitors
  • Premises:  142 Duke Street
  • License type: On & off sale
  • Last date for objections:  6 February 2020
  • Requested variation:  Amend terminal hour to 01:00 hrs daily; add bar meals; allow certain activities to take place out with core hours.
  • Link to view licensing register entry:  Click here

Owing to the lack of detail, City of Edinburgh Council were asked to provide further information, to which the following response was received:

The variation below is to amend the terminal hour on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from midnight to 1am; to add bar meals, receptions, club meetings, recorded music, live performances and televised sport as activities listed In operating plan.

If you wish to lodge an objection, submit comments or ask questions about the application you should email licensing@edinburgh.gov.uk by the deadline of 6 February 2020, you may also wish to copy us in by emailing licensing@leithlinkscc.org.uk.

Leith Links event application decision: Lady Boys of Bangkok

On 27 September 2019 we made you aware that City of Edinburgh Council were considering an application to allow the Lady Boys of Bangkok to use Leith Links as an event site in 2020.

Our original post can be found here.

We have today been informed by City of Edinburgh Council that they have secured an alternative location, no further information has been provided to us.

Leith Links event application decision: Tom Kerridge Presents Pub In The Park – Leith Links 2020

On 23 August 2019 we let our community know that an application had been received & was being considered by City of Edinburgh Council for Tom Kerridge Presents Pub In The Park Leith Links 2020 to be held in Leith Links in June & July 2020.

Earlier today we were advised by City of Edinburgh Council that the event will not take place in Leith Links as the application has been writhdrawn. No further information was provided.

Leith Links event application decision: Gung Ho 2020

On 30 October 2019 we let our community know that an application had been received & was being considered by City of Edinburgh Council for Gung Ho 2020 to be held in Leith Links over three days in May 2020.

Earlier today we were advised by City of Edinburgh Council that the event will not take place in Leith Links, instead it will be held in Holyrood Park. No further information was provided.





Winter Wanderland – Constitution Street. 25 January 2020

On 22nd October 2019 the Businesses on Constitution Street came together and formed a business collective to help and support each other through the Tram Project.

Our street will be closed for 3 years in total while the Tram works are carried out – I am sure you will agree a very long time for not just the local residents but also for the small independent businesses.

Constitution Street is a very historical street,  this was no doubt one of the reasons why its been incorporated into the Tram route.

We don’t want to see the closure of any business due to the Tram Project, so the business collective decided we would put on events during the Tram Project to highlight that all businesses are still open and would love your support.

As our prominent Statue of Robert Burns has been removed for cleaning during the Tram work it was decided we would host Window Wonderland on Saturday, 25th January (Rabbie’s birthday).

Please come along and enjoy. Look forward to seeing you.


Leith Links Community Council responds to Constitution Street & Johns Lane planning application

On 16 December 2019 Leith Links Community Council submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council our response, as a statutory consultee, to the following planning application:

19/05184/FUL | Proposed Change of Use and Redevelopment of 111 Constitution Street and the existing derelict warehouse at 18-25 John’s Lane to create an overall development comprising of 39 residential units. Additionally, two commercial units are proposed fronting Constitution Street. | 111 – 115 Constitution Street Edinburgh EH6 7AE

The planning application can be viewed by clicking here.

» Read more

£eith Chooses 2019/2020 | Project applications published

No photo description available.£eith Chooses have announced the twenty community projects which will be put to the public vote to win funding.

Come along on the day to learn about applicants to the Leith Chooses funding pot of £44,000, and cast your vote/s.

You are eligible to vote if you are 8 years old or over, and if you live in Leith, or work in Leith, or study (go to school) in Leith, or volunteer regularly in Leith.

For more information please visit £eith Chooses online at:

£eith Chooses is Leiths local participatory budgeting process, overseen by City of Edinburgh Council but led by a community steering group, which includes Leith Links Community Council.

Leith Links Community Council has supported £eith Chooses over the years through active participation in the steering group, and through volunteering on the voting days.


North East Edinburgh Foodbank

Amount requested: £5000

We currently provide long-life food and toiletries to clients. But we would also like to provide fresh food. We would use funding to purchase vouchers from Scotmid. We will match vouchers to clients by box size. Single and couple boxes will receive £2 of vouchers, small and large families £5 worth of vouchers. Scotmid are happy to waive profit to provide extra vouchers. The opportunity to obtain fresh food will improve clients’ diet and allow clients to exist ‘beyond the world of tinned produce’ that we currently provide.


Hermitage Park School Association

Amount requested: £3250

‘Hermie Bully Busters’ is a student empowerment programme designed to tackle the loneliness/isolation associated with bullying, something 61% of Scottish school children have experienced. Using a Children’s Rights approach, P7s will be empowered to become anti-bullying activists, and supported to design a ‘kindness kit’ which will then be shared with all Leith Primary Schools. The programme will give children the tools to protect their own/each other’s rights and to build positive relationships. The grant will pay facilitators to lead workshops and fund a Scottish Parliament visit. The beneficiaries will be P7 pupils from across Leith Primary Schools as the programme is rolled out.



Amount requested: £5000

Our free, expanded holiday playscheme will run 4 weeks of summer and 1 week in October. Open to primary aged children in Leith who are identified by support agencies as experiencing disadvantage, we will partner with other agencies to provide a variety of activities whilst addressing holiday hunger.

To prevent hunger, each weekday we will offer 30 children a nutritious breakfast and entire family a lunch, alongside a four hour play session. Children will build confidence and improve social skills by participating in art and science activities, alongside sports, such as football and basketball, to improve physical and mental health.



Amount requested: £4990

The Games Club will fight loneliness by giving socially isolated young people aged 11 to 18 an opportunity to attend a youth club specially designed for them. For young people who spend a lot of time gaming at home on their own, the Games Club will enable them to meet peers with similar interests and develop face-to-face friendships. They will also be able to take part in other activities, including trips to places like escape rooms and games conventions, and workshops such as 3-D printing and coding, which will help them to learn new skills and consider potential career options.


Pilmeny Development Project

Amount requested: £3870

Our project will fight loneliness and reduce social isolation experienced by older people in Leith, through the development of a volunteer home visiting service for 25-30 housebound older people; by bringing 150 socially isolated older people together to a large event (as part of UN Day of the Older Person 2020);  as well as connecting a minimum of 50 lonely older people into community activities, opportunities which will enhance their quality of life, in line with our own research and the NE Locality priority to address Social lsolation and Loneliness.


Edinburgh Food Social

Amount requested: £2846

Edinburgh Food Social will deliver an intergenerational food project that will see groups of young people from Leith Academy spend time with older Leithers to share time, stories and meals.
As social media take over, isolation is just as current an issue for young people as it is for those older and living alone.
This project is designed to teach each age group about the challenges of the other whilst sharing the one thing that brings us all together, a good meal.
Growing, cooking and eating will all feature, with outcomes including: improved health through nutritious meals; increased cookery skills; and heightened well-being through time spent outdoors and with others.


Leith DIY Skatepark

Amount requested: £4500

Leith DIY Skateparks aim to fix up the ramp after the winter and to widen and diversify the user base of the facility off 165 Leith Walk, by reaching out to people not typically exposed to Skateboarding, putting on beginner events, and holding lessons/ classes and sessions for individual groups. This is a great way for young people to meet and build friendships – addressing loneliness in the community. Organised events will include BBQs and sharing of food, free of charge.

Young people today (particularly young and vulnerable) spend increasing amounts of time on social media, and the negative impacts (loneliness and low self-confidence) are well documented. This facility is free and open to all, offering a positive alternative where people can get together and enjoy themselves.


Leith Community Centre Association

Amount requested: £4993

The Good Neighbours Social Club will provide Leith residents experiencing loneliness and/or hunger with a nutritious hot meal, as well as opportunities to try out new activities and make new friends. A sessional outreach worker will publicise the club, visiting local community and faith groups, doctors’ surgeries, libraries, housing associations etc, and organise sessions particularly welcoming newcomers to the area, single parents, LGBTQ people, older people, people with disabilities, and refugees. As well as sharing a meal, club members will be able to try out a range of social activities, including crafts, music and sports, and be sign-posted to other sources of help.


Building Bridges

Amount requested: £3300


There is a risk in Edinburgh of creating ‘Parallel Communities’ with little contact or engagement between different groups. Our activities will bring people together from the diverse communities in Leith, especially those from ethic minority groups, to form new connections with one another.
Building Bridges would use funding to put on Befriending evenings of multicultural music, dance and story sharing events with food, and conversations. These events will provide an opportunity to hear stories from the ethnic minority communities about what Leith means to them and their journey to Edinburgh, with the aim of raising cultural awareness and building friendships between the new Leith communities living side by side, to shape intercultural neighbourhoods.


St Mary’s Leith Parent Council

Amount requested: £1600

To combat loneliness and social isolation, we want to create social connections between St. Mary’s Leith Primary pupils and older residents of Leith. P6 pupils will visit and talk with older residents of the sheltered housing complex at Manderston Court and will find out what their favourite street games were. Their memories will be recorded and will inform the design of games at St Mary’s. We will use funds to install painted traditional street games onto the plain tarmac of the school playground, and aim to reduce social isolation amongst St Mary’s pupils by involving all in fun and active games.


Bright Light

Amount requested: £4300

‘Linked Up In Leith’ will enable, empower, and support young carers living in Leith. We will provide vital practical life-skills coaching that will help young people address/manage their feelings of loneliness and isolation, and build their capacity to self-manage/overcome life challenges, now and in the future. Our coaching will give each young person practical tools and confidence to identify and build on their strengths, to set their goals and achieve them. Bright Light will deliver a programme of group coaching sessions, working in partnership with other grassroots agencies in Leith, helping each young carer to thrive, develop confidence, and the practical life-skills tools to shape for themselves a better future.


Multi-Cultural Family Base

Amount requested: £5000

Qualifies for boost vote

We support families building a new life in Scotland. Low income, lack of language and friends means they struggle with food poverty and lack opportunities to build social networks.

We will run events to combat loneliness and food poverty.

  1. Two food, dance and music based family gatherings at South Leith Parish Church Halls with food take-away options. Run in Partnership with World Kitchen in Leith and in consultation with local foodbanks.
  2. A day at Vogrie Park during the summer holidays, incorporating a barbeque and family activities – a chance for families to socialise and share food. Transport provided.


Edinburgh & Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC)

Amount requested: £5000

Qualifies for boost vote

‘Lunch and a story in Leith’
To be held in a community space in Leith, this will be a program of 3-hour sessions of learning about nutrition, healthy diets, basic cooking tips, cuisine from different countries, followed by listening and reflecting on a story, and finishing by having healthy lunch together while listening to music. These sessions are open to families and single people, men and women.

Aiming to tackle hunger and loneliness, the program will run one day a week (Wednesdays or Thursdays), starting from May 2020, for 33 weeks. Each participant will receive a booklet consisting of all the information presented and recipes of some simple healthy multicultural food.


Creative Electric

Amount requested: £5000

Creative Electric will provide supported, creative opportunities for those experiencing social anxiety and/or isolation through:

Weekly arts drop-ins: workshops that explore positive mental health and anxiety reduction through the arts. Taster sessions will include calming jars, creative writing, breath therapy and autobiographical performance.

Bi-monthly arts celebration nights: an opportunity to meet new people & be entertained in a relaxed, supported environment. Participants of the arts drop-ins will have the opportunity to share their work – this can include displaying artwork, playing music or having professional actors read your short play.

Celebration nights will be programmed by the local community.


Projekt 42

Amount requested: £3900

Having successfully delivered a range of free fitness and yoga activities to the over-55s, we have identified that many live with long term health conditions that create barriers to physical activity. To fight loneliness we are seeking a grant which will allow us to offer one to one ‘Health MOT’s’ for hard-to-reach individuals living with long term health conditions. This will involve them working with a specialist Level 3 GP referral coach and completing a series of simple base-line fitness tests, giving them confidence, reassurance and the boost they need to feel able take part in group exercise classes.


Safer by Sound

Amount requested: £1000

Our project is to have two outdoor concerts in the summer at Leith Community Croft (Leith Links) for those who may not have the opportunity to go to Edinburgh/Fringe festival events. Our concerts will bring the community together in a relaxed family atmosphere, through performance, and sharing food.

Crops and Pots will supply food (free to attendees), the space and the electricity. Safer by Sound will supply the PA system and organise the artists. Many of our artists and participants have disabilities, suffer from mental health (isolation) issues, are in recovery from substance abuse, or simply cannot afford music tuition often due to unemployment.


Feniks Counselling

Amount requested: £3808

Qualifies for boost vote

We would like to support social and cultural integration of the isolated over-50 year old Polish people with other ethnic groups of Leith. In partnership with local community organisations, we will organise three cuisine exchange classes, art workshops promoting well-being in the advanced age, and a meeting exploring memories of growing up in different cultures. We will also award the participants with a historic trip to Highlands. We believe that the proposed activities will support the cultural exchange and integration of the Polish minority with the local community in Leith which will help all participants to feel less lonely.


SHE Scotland

Amount requested: £940

SHE Voices will partner Citadel Youth Centre, Womens Aid, Sikh San Jog and LGBT aiming to host a unique event for international Womens Day in Leith. SHE Voices would raise the issue of domestic abuse, control and the isolation of victims. SHE Voices will include a performance of a 1 woman play entitled Object of Desire which highlights the issue of domestic abuse and the misuse of power within relationships. This play is part of a range of workshops and would increase confidence, reduce isolation and connect communities. Participation would be supported with childcare. 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their lives and it accounts for between 16% and 25 % of all recorded crimes.


The Men Of Leith Men’s Shed

Amount requested: £640

A shed for The Men’s Shed
We are an organisation for men to get together and support each other, helping to combat loneliness and isolation through various activities. We are looking to secure funding to purchase a storage shed so that we can store regular donations of wood and useful materials. We complete projects for many local charities and community groups utilising reclaimed materials where possible, therefore keeping costs to a minimum, reducing waste and helping to protect our environment. A storage facility will allow more men to become engaged with us in these activities.


Dr Bell’s Family Centre

Amount requested: £4315

Dr Bell’s Family Centre is seeking funding towards a holiday activity programme which will run during easter, summer and the October breaks in 2020 for families in Leith with young children who are facing disadvantage and challenging circumstances.

We will deliver a wide range of centre-based activities including community breakfasts, lunches and family cooking workshops as well as local outings and picnics. We would also use the funds for buying food and resources for activities, and contribute towards entrance fees and travel costs to take our families on local outings.


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