What’s Happening around Leith Links this summer?

Here’s what we know about – please contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk if you know of any other events on or around the Links in the next couple of months, that local people might like to be aware of.

Public Toilets
The Links were supposed to be getting a permanent public toilet block this summer, but it has been delayed, apparently, for various reasons, and will not now be built until the autumn or later…watch this space….
HOWEVER, good news – the Links WILL be getting temporary public toilets, like the past few years. If you want to know when exactly these will be arriving we suggest that you all – like this Community Council – email your local Councillors to ask when / and can they please try to speed the process up, stressing the urgent need that you and your family and friends experience for toilets, now that the weather is improving and people are spending longer out of doors.
Cllr.katrina.faccenda@edinburgh.gov.uk; chas.booth@edinburgh.gov.uk; adam.mcvey@edinburgh.gov.uk


Duncan Place
All sorts of exciting events & activities take place at Duncan Place Community Hub, including sociable and undemanding ‘Seasonal Strolls’ around the Links, usually on Wednesday lunchtimes (But not every week- check with Duncan Place for schedule). Sign up here to receive their regular Newsletter, to keep abreast of what’s on.


Earth in Common (on the corner of the Links at the Queen Charlotte Street end of John’s Place) now offers a Cafe and Farm Shop (Food Hub).
Cafe open Tuesday -Friday 9-3pm and Saturday-Sunday 10-4pm for tea and coffee, homemade sweet treats and a simple vegetarian menu.
Farm Shop sells local produce like vegetables, eggs and milk


Leith Links Funfair
The traditional ‘shows’ will be on the Links this year as they are every year around Leith Festival time (over on the Duncan Place side) Sunday 2nd – Sunday 9th June


Leith Festival Gala Day
This traditional community event will be held on Saturday 8th June


Leith Festival 8th – 16th June
For news of the many exciting events held all around Leith during the Leith Festival, see www.leithfestival.com and look out for the printed paper programme which you will be able to pick up soon all over Leith (in cafes, pubs etc.)


World Orienteering Championships 2024 – 12 July
This one off event will be held on and around the Links on the morning of  Friday 12 July, with start & finish points on the small triangle on the west side of Leith Links at Duncan Place, beside Leith Primary School. For more information, see www.woc2024.org/woc-tour/

Organisers are keen for people to come along and spectate too. The WOC races earlier in the morning on Leith Links will be the most exciting for spectating and there will be a ‘Finals’ event culminating in Central Edinburgh the same afternoon.

Latest news is that there are also going to be ‘open’ races for spectators / the local community, on the main part of the Links, slightly later in the day, with entries open to anyone – the shortest courses are suitable for complete beginners!  These involve people running around, navigating to checkpoints marked with a stake, small flag and electronic timing box. Entries are at:



Leith Local History Society April talk BRUCE KEITH Scotland Beneath the Surface

Bruce Keith joins us again for his talk, Scotland Beneath the Surface

Everything underground! Souterrains, manmade tunnels from castles and for roads and railways, pumped storage schemes, mines for coal and shale, quarries and more…

The talk is at Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirkgate, Leith (up the stair from the shops) on Tuesday 19 March 2024, at 7.00 pm. Admission is £2∙00, or free for members 


Your last chance to comment on Low Traffic Neighbourhood! Do you like the bus gate on Links Place?

There are a few aspects of the Leith Low Traffic Neighbourhood that still have ‘temporary’ status, and could perhaps still be overturned. You must send in your views before 8th April. They don’t make it easy for you – no clear questions on the Consultation Hub – you need to email in with your views. But please, do take the time to do this!

How to respond

Leith Connections  – Low Traffic Neighbourhood
Email your views on the Experimental Traffic Order (eg. on the bus gate on Links Place) and/ or general views on the low traffic neighbourhood to Edinburgh.Consultation@projectcentre.co.uk
and copy to leithconnections@edinburgh.gov.uk

We are aware that the community holds mixed views on the Low Traffic Neighbourhood overall, but there does seem to be consensus on one particular issue – the ‘bus gate’ on Links Place. The Community Council discussed this at our recent meeting and agreed to share the view that we find the bus gate to be unnecessary and unhelpful – potentially dangerous – and would like to see this overturned, with Links Place returned to two way traffic, for the following reasons. But of course, if you disagree, feel free to comment here below, and to send in your views to the consultation.

  • The bus gate is dangerous. Because of the bus gate, all traffic (including buses, though excluding taxis) trying to head west is forced to turn right into Salamander Place. This creates a very congested and dangerous junction at the corner of Links Place / Salamander Place / Links Gardens.
  • The Salamander Place roadway was not designed as a major traffic through route, and is not fit for purpose;  it is cobbled and has many large holes and bumps along its length. Two way bus traffic is making the surface worse every day. It is dangerous for pedestrians as it is quite wide, but there are no crossing points except at the junction with Salamander Street.
  • Because of the location of St. Marys Primary School nearby, many children heading into and home from school have to cross the road at this dangerous junction. The school crossing patrol officer on duty at this corner often comments on how dangerous the junction at this corner is. Locals often observe chaos at the junction as buses and lorries have to ‘queue up’ on either side of the road narrowing build out on Links Place to make the turn.
  • The bus gate on Links Place actually makes Links Gardens much more dangerous for pedestrians, including pupils, staff and parents at St. Mary’s Primary School. All traffic coming up Salamander Place (including lorries from the docks etc.) now has to turn left along past the entrance to the school.
  • The bus gate is unnecessary. Links Place is not a particularly busy route for traffic anyway, since the introduction of the trams and the consequent closure of the south end of Constitution Street to traffic – plus the later closure of Tolbooth Wynd and Burgess Street, Sandport Bridge etc. – there is no ‘through route’ anyway westward along Links Place, so the traffic using it would be mainly local people, rather than it ever becoming a ‘rat run’.
  • This stretch of Links Place is not in fact a densely populated residential area anyway, so it is unclear why this particular stretch was chosen for extra  ‘protection’ from traffic. There is park all along one side, and the other side is largely taken up with offices (Great Michael House), plus a few detached houses, and only one block of tenement flats. Yet at the same time, the bus gate has actually made things far worse – not better – for nearby neighbours, by forcing traffic to reroute through the very densely residential area behind Links Place (Fox Street, Pattison Street, Elbe Street) with narrow streets, and for Salamander Place which has a large residential population in very large blocks of flats on both sides.
  • Closing Fox Street etc. to through traffic as well  – as has been threatened – would make things even worse, as then there would simply be no way for local people to get to where they are trying to go! Even thinking of closing off the Fox Street route is an admission of failure by the Leith Connections Team as they have to recognise that the closure of Links Place west bound is not working well.
  • There is already a serious issue in Leith of ‘lack of resilience’ in the face of unexpected events. For example, if road repairs, utility based road works, a fire or road accidents take place, there are simply not enough routes left open in Leith to let traffic bypass the trouble spot and find another route. This leads to great congestion and delays, extra emissions etc. Keeping Links Place open would help to reduce this problem if it occurs.
  • And finally  – There is no bus that ever goes along Links Place anyway (nor will they in future, because they can’t get round the corner at Constitution Street by the Police Station, where the pavement has been built out), so it makes no sense to reserve this stretch of roadway for buses.

Vital Consultations – please add your views

There are a number of consultations currently live on Council websites on issues that will impact all of our lives, in some cases quite profoundly. Please take some time to respond to these, before the deadline.

Leith Connections  – Low Traffic Neighbourhood
Email your views on the Experimental Traffic Order (eg. on the bus gate on Links Place) to Edinburgh.Consultation@projectcentre.co.uk
And/ or general views on the low traffic neighbourhood to leithconnections@edinburgh.gov.uk

Closes 8 April 2024


Lindsay Road Bridge Regeneration https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/sfc/lindsay-road-bridge/

Closes 4 April 2024


Edinburgh’s Public Libraries – future vision and strategy https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/cf/edinburgh-future-libraries/

Closes 19 April 2024


There are several other consultations that you may find of relevance, please explore the full list here https://consultationhub.edinburgh.gov.uk/consultation_finder/


Dept Q , Location Filming , Monday, 11th March , Links Gardens

Location filming will take place in Links Gardens/Links Place for a chilling new detective series called Dept Q.

The crew will be filming scenes between 4pm and 10pm on Monday 11th March and this will lead to some road closures during these hours to allow the action to take place.

Location equipment and crew will be on site from 9am to set up.

The map link below shows where road closures will take place from 6pm to 10pm.

If you would normally be planning to drive through the area at that time of day then plan an alternative route.


Dept Q is based on the crime novels of the Danish author, Jussi Adler-Olsen which have sold many millions of copies. The books have been made into successful television adaptations and films ( In Danish). This new production which moves the location of Dept Q to Scotland stars some well known actors and could be very successful.

I’ve just finished the first book in English which introduces you to the characters.

The book was first published in 2008 and then made into a movie.

Lets wish them great success with this new take on the novels.




Next Meeting of Leith Links Community Council – ONLINE – 6:30pm Monday 26th February

The next meeting of the Leith Links Community Council will be held on Monday 26th February, at 6:30pm. This will be an ONLINE ONLY meeting (Teams).

Agenda available here.

Minutes of previous meeting available here.

The meeting is held in public,to allow interested local residents to participate.
Email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk if you wish to attend, and you will be sent a link.

What’s happening in Leith Links?

Monday 26th February – next Leith Links Community Council meeting, 6:30pm. This will be an ONLINE ONLY meeting (TEAMS). Agenda available here.

Email contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk if you wish to attend, and you will be sent a link.


£EITH CHOOSES Results night 22th February 

The results of which local charities / community groups have been successsful in winning funding will be announced ‘live’ at 6:30 pm at Leith Community Centre (cafe area). All welcome, do come along to hear the news, and for refreshments and a chat. Short meeting.


February  – Leith Links Community Council survey about traffic and parking changes. Have you filled in this survey yet? Please do so, to have your voice heard, regarding how your life as a local resident, is affected – positively and/or negatively – by all the recent changes to traffic and parking in our area. Timing is key, as some of the changes which were temporary (such as the ‘bus gate’ on Links Gardens / Links Place) are about to be made permanent unless people report that they are not working well.

Give your views via the Community Council survey here

You can also make your views known direct to the council via this link:



Events on the Links 2024 

We have just been informed that the City of Edinburgh Council has REFUSED permission for the proposed event FLY Summer Of Love’92 to take place on the Links, in May 2024. This is good news, as the community council and many local residents had objected to the application, feeling that this particular large scale, long and very loud event and Leith Links, so close to residents, were not a good fit for each other.

Music Encounters March 2024

Provided by the Council, there will be some live music on the Links for all local residents and ‘ordinary’ park users to enjoy, free of charge, on Saturday 16th March, from 1300h to 1500h. More details to follow later.


Have YOUR say on recent traffic changes around Leith – do it now!

Leith Links Community Council has created a survey to find out how the traffic changes recently introduced to Leith are affecting local people. We really want to hear from everybody – please fill it in!

You can access the survey here:

Please don’t delay, fill it in now. We will be collecting this information throughout January and February and will collate the information received and pass it on to the Council so that they have detailed information from real people who live and work here. The next few months are crucial. Not all of the changes are permanent yet – some, such as the bus gate on Links Place, and the blocking of Tolbooth Wynd, have been carried out on a ‘Temporary Traffic Regulation Order’, so feedback from local residents could help to determine whether or not they are made permanent, modified, or dropped.

Other changes are meant to be permanent, but if there is enough evidence to suggest they are not working well, there should be scope for them to be reviewed.

We’ve included both the low traffic neighbourhood and the controlled parking zone, because although these are the responsibility of 2 separate departments in the council, we know that both these schemes interact with each other in affecting our lives as local residents. Equally there is space for free text so you can add other comments.

Some people don’t bother with ‘consultations’ because they feel that the Council ‘always just does what it wants, whether people support it or not’. But this survey is different – it is NOT a Council consultation – we are your neighbours, and we WILL do our very best to use the information you supply to make the Council listen. The basic survey does not take long to complete, although there is scope within it to go into details about each different street, and specific changes, if you want to.

Thank you!

Oh, and, please pass the link on to your neighbours and ask them to fill it in too.


or via QR code

Joy to the World

Seasons Greetings

If you were writing a new Christmas Panto script and you were looking for an idea, then Leith’s Christmas tree could be it.

Our sad tale begins in Leith with tram works and a modern-day plague.

Constitution Street and Leith Walk ripped up, and then Covid strikes.

The Christmas Tree that was installed and stood proudly in the Kirkgate for many, many years had to find a temporary home, and after little or no consultation a decision was taken by council officers to place a tree in Taylor Gardens instead, with 6 lights (4 working) added to lamp standards.

It’s a nice enough tree, but really not the true location where  Leithers would expect it to be, and that is something council officials don’t grasp in their decision making process.

It was supposed to be a temporary move, not permanent, but although it may tick boxes with council officers they miss the point of how the community view things.

When I first asked our elected councillors why the tree hadn’t returned to the Kirkgate, Councillor Faccenda kindly wrote to council officers and received a reply with reasons why it couldn’t go back to the Kirkgate. But all of those ‘problems’ really could have been worked out, had there been a willingness from council public servants.

“Unfortunately due to the installation of the Tram lines we are now unable to provide any festive Lighting on Leith Walk which involves working at height. The installation on a cut Christmas Tree involves using a telehandler to lift the tree into position and then a cherry picker later to install the lights”

Where there’s a will there’s always a way of achieving the impossible?

Someone in the council also had the idea to plant a fir tree in Taylor Gardens which could become the Leith Christmas tree of the future.



In reply to Councillor Faccenda the council said about this tree (- and please don’t laugh but I suppose it’s panto time. It’s behind you!)

The decision to move the Kirkgate Christmas Tree along the road to Taylor Park has enabled us to plant a tree which will hopefully be ready for dressing with lights within the next 5 years or so. We will continue to provide an 8m cut tree here until the planted tree is ready.

Now as I’m of a certain age and don’t have a life, I’m drawn to TV programmes like Gardeners’ World and Landward, and having done a few Christmas Quizzes I can confidently say that planted tree will not be ready in ‘less than 5 years’

Quiz answer is 15 years before an average Christmas tree is ready.

So why do council officers put nonsense in emails and expect us to accept what they say without challenging them? I suppose their get-out clause legally was ‘or so‘.

They apparently know even less about trees than me and it comes across that they really don’t care,and possibly haven’t been down to Leith to have a look because they call it Park not Gardens.

They reply in a confident ‘I know what I’m talking about because I’m a council officer’ manner then they don’t expect to be called out for nonsense speak, they expect the community to just say ok,move on.

However they miss the point that it’s not just about location of a tree on a spreadsheet.

They don’t take into account how people who live in the area view it, and have shared memories of good and bad times

The historic heart of Leith for a tree has, for as long as I can remember, been the Kirkgate beside Queen Victoria’s statue. If you take a walk down there today it looks drab and uncared for, and especially at this time of year it could do with some cheer.

We keep getting told that Leith is hip and has a vibrant community and is a top 10 destination as a place to visit and stay.

You wouldn’t think that if, as a tourist, you arrived at the Foot of the Walk by tram to an area that Christmas seemed to have by-passed all because of council bureaucracy which prior to lockdown had never been an issue.

But if you get it right, people will keep coming back, and spend money in our community, and tell their friends what a great place it is with friendly and helpful locals.

It doesn’t have to be over the top flashy lights.

It just has to be welcoming, which is supposedly what we in Leith are good at.

I would like the community to support me in bringing the tree back to the Kirkgate in 2024 and hopefully with help from local businesses in the Kirkgate, to brighten the place up.

Take a trip out to Davidson Mains Street or the front at South Queensferry and you will see what some communities and businesses can achieve at this time of year.

Let me know what you think, and more importantly hit the email inboxes of your elected Leith Councillors, MP and MSP

Don’t moan, just drop them a quick email: BRING BACK THE CHRISTMAS TREE TO THE KIRKGATE

Yes, I know life is hellish at the moment for many, many people, and you can’t eat Christmas trees, but let’s give it a go for our own pride and self-respect returning.

Thanks, and have a peaceful and enjoyable festive holiday.

Jim Scanlon MBE

Chair, Leith Links Community Council



The next meeting of the Leith Local History Society will be on Tuesday 21 Nov. 2023 at Leith Community Centre at 7.00pm.
The original proposed talk has been rescheduled the talk will now be The History of Golf by Brian Graham.
We look forward to seeing you there. If you are interested in this, or the upcoming talks, why not complete a membership form and bring it to the next meeting.
Also, you may be interested to hear that an archaeology dig is due to start in Coatfield Lane off Constitution Street before new housing is built. The archaeology team are having an open day for the public to find out more on: Saturday, 25th November from 10am to 2pm .
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