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:



Archeology tests on the Links

Please be aware that there will be people working on site at the bowling greens at Leith Links this Thursday 9th May.  In case you are wondering – and to combat any possible misinformation – these are workers from AOC Archaeology Group who have been officially contracted to carry out archaeological tests at the site. This is part of the development work and site scoping for the proposed Activity Hub project (part of the Leith Links MasterPlan).

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 


Music Encounters on the Links, 16 March 2024

There will be some live music on the Links for all park users to enjoy, free of charge, on Saturday 16th March, as follows:

11-13:00 set-up

13:00-13:30 Firelight Trio – European music including Swedish polskas, Scottish reels, French waltzes, toe-tapping klezmer and dazzling original tunes. www.firelighttrio.co.uk

13:40-14:10 Ché Caré – One of Edinburgh’s finest Latin Trios and house band at Boteco Do Brasil playing timeless pop classics from all around the globe with a Latin core and jazz-rock twist. https://www.instagram.com/checaretrio/

14:20-15:00 Tom Oakes Duo/Trio – 2019 Scots Trad Awards ‘Musician of the Year’ nominee, Edinburgh-based Tom is regarded as one of the UK’s top Flautists and Multi instrumentalists. www.tomoakesmusic.com

15:00-16:00 take down

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.




Do you want this event on the Links?

This is the response that the Community Council has sent in to the Council, with regard to a proposal to hold an electronic dance music festival event on the Links, across a weekend in May 2024.

If you wish to send in a comment yourself, whether in support or as an objection, please do so as soon as possible, as consultation is closing very shortly. Email parks@edinburgh.gov.uk


The Leith Links Community Council is writing to formally OBJECT to this proposed event on Leith Links in May 2024.

It is not that the Community Council and local residents object to all / any concerts on the Links -general nimby-ism – actually, we have received lots of extremely positive comments about the Proclaimers concert organised by Regular Music last year, and an indication that more of that kind of event might be very well received locally – it is that the majority object to this particular event. The reasons for objection follow below, and basically focus on time scales, scale and noise. We believe that Leith Links and this event are not a good fit for each other. This is basically a two day festival and Leith Links is too close to a densely populated residential area for such an event.
Time-scales – Is this too close to the 8 June date for the Gala Day, in terms of letting the grass recover? And in terms of blocking off access to a large section of the park for local residents and park users?
Length of the event –  This plan would apparently block off a large section of the Links for 10 days – in stark contrast to the the Proclaimers concert which was done faster, within about 4 or 5 days.
 Also the weekend days of the proposed concerts are too long – much longer than the Proclaimers concerts. FLY would be 12-11pm  and 12-10pm – with loud electronic music playing from three different sources, more or less continuously (whereas the Proclaimers was only 3-10 with music only playing between 6 or 7 – 10)
Finish time – It has previously been agreed with the Council that 10pm is an absolute deadline for amplified music, whether it’s a Saturday or any other day. This is so that local residents, especially those with young families, can sleep. 11pm is not acceptable
Scale –  the scale of this would  be similar to the Proclaimers concerts in terms of numbers of  tickets sold, but the type of music would not be as universally  acceptable to local residents as the Proclaimers were – it will be very loud electronic dance music. 12,000 inside the fences and potentially many other young people flooding the Links outside the enclosure might be very different to the intergenerational crowds who came for the Proclaimers.
Noise -This sounds like a 2 day non stop  ‘Festival’ not just two concerts.  As we know from the Proclaimers (who only played for 4 hours max per night), everyone locally can hear  amplified music on the Links. Continuous loud electronic music for 11/10 hours a day would not be acceptable. This type of electronic dance music is famous for being particularly loud and penetrating. We would anticipate endless complaints from locals.
We particularly object to the three different sound sources, meaning that music would presumably be continuous. And specifically to the Landrover Defender ‘background  music’ source as this is not protected by a tent, so will be even louder than from the other stages. 
Location – There was a reason the festival was held previously at Hopetoun House – i.e. it was as far away as possible from residents. That would be a much more appropriate locus for this kind of event. Or a bigger park in Edinburgh further away from local residents e.g. Inverleith?
On the Links, the proposed location of the tents looks wrong, this should be as far away as possible from residential properties. (There is actually nowhere on the Links that would be far enough away!)
Traffic and Parking – There are already major parking problems around the Links. Due to the new parking restrictions on the north side of the Links, local residents on the south side of the Links now get swamped with irresponsibly parked cars mainly due to commuters on week days. In spite of public transport links nearby, there would obviously also be many cars flooding into the area for this large scale event, with resulting chaos (like a Hibs match but lasting 48 hours instead of 4 hours!!) and this would cause major inconvenience for local residents.
The Principle – The Community Council and many local residents believe that concerts should only be located on Leith Links if they bring positive benefit to the local community. We are opposed to events occupying public space that simply bring profit to the council and the event organiser, and we vigorously wish to protect Leith Links from such events. We particularly do not want to see Leith Links turned into a regular ‘cash cow’ for promoters instead of a peaceful and health giving green space available to be enjoyed by local people and visitors. 
We have taken time to consult members of the local community via our website. The comments we received back were mostly negative although there were positive views mixed in with these. However, most of the positive ones seemed to be based on a belief that the event would be very similar to the Proclaimers concert last year, whereas reading the details of this application it appears to be very different to that event. Comments submitted by local residents include the following:
I strongly object to the FLY event. It’s too big, will run until late both days, will cause parking issues and will be extremely noisy. It’s not possible to have quiet electronic music! We must stop the council from presuming that they can use the Links as a full- blown concert venue and close the facility off for entire weekends. That’s not its intended purpose.
The FLY festival is too big, too long and potentially too noisy. We don’t want these sort of events, otherwise the Links will end up being a full-scale music venue and none of the residents will ever get a decent night’s sleep! 
I agree with the objection to the FLY Summer of Love ‘92 two day event. Living directly on Leith Links, and with a young child, loud music and lots of visitors late at night is extremely disruptive for our family.
Thank you

As a public space it  (ie the Links) should cater to all age groups and tastes….The LLCC should be representative of the whole community. Let the young people have their fun also.
We had a great time during the Proclaimers, but that was because folk could sit outside the tent and enjoy the music. If the whole place was cordoned off then that wouldn’t be good. Looking forward to more events this summer.
I would fully support … The Proclaimers were amazing.

Events on the Links in 2024? YOUR views, please!

The Community Council has been informed of some applications to hold events on the Links this spring / summer, and we are seeking local residents’ views on these.

We have to respond to these proposals asap, as far as possible representing the views of the local community.  At the moment, we are minded to object to one and approve of three others, as follows, but this is not ‘cast in stone’ and we could perhaps change our responses if local people feel strongly.

City of Edinburgh Council ‘Music Encounters’ – Saturday 16 March 2024 – LLCC  currently minded to approve

FLY – Summer of Love ‘92 – 2 day weekend, May 2024 – LLCC currently minded to object

Leith Festival Gala Day – Saturday 8th June 2024 – LLCC currently minded to approve

World Orienteering Championships (WOC) 2024 – Friday 12 July 2024 – LLCC currently minded to approve

Please can you use the comments below, or email us on contact@leithlinkscc.org.uk to make YOUR views known on each of these.

Leith Local History Society, The Northern Light House Board

The next meeting of Leith Local History Society takes place on Tuesday, 16th January .

We meet in Leith Community Education Centre, New Kirgate at 7pm

Free to members and £2 for visitors.

This months event is a talk by Mike Bullock about he Northern Lighthouse Board who control and maintain all the lighthouses round the coast of Scotland.

You may have walked past their offices and control centre based in George Street and wondered about the flashing small lighthouse above the door,

I’m sure Mike’s talk will give an insight into the history and continued work of the Board.


Hope to see you there.

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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