Detailed plans submitted for homes-led transformation of Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery

Detailed plans submitted for homes-led transformation of Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery

The residential-led transformation of the former Caledonian Brewery in Shandon is now a step closer to reality with the submission of a major planning application to the City of Edinburgh Council.

Following a comprehensive three-month consultation programme, regeneration specialist Artisan Real Estate has unveiled proposals to develop the historic brewery site into a sustainable, low-carbon residential development delivering 168 new homes.

Sitting at the western edge of Edinburgh’s city centre, the Caledonian Brewery was the capital’s last major operational brewery before Heineken UK ceased production and put the site on the market in 2022. The brewery was founded in 1869 by George Lorimer and Robert Clark and its distinctive range of B-listed Victorian buildings provide an important reminder of the city’s once extensive brewing heritage.

Artisan announced plans to purchase the 1.9-acre former brewery site in December last year. A public consultation programme was launched in February.

Welcoming the submission of the planning application, Artisan’s managing director for Scotland, David Westwater said: “Artisan’s development proposals intend to respect, preserve and tell the story of the Caledonian Brewery. The feedback from our consultation events was overwhelmingly supportive and positive.

“There was a significant and long-established affinity, amongst local residents especially, for the historic brewery buildings which will be preserved to form the heart of our new development – including the spectacular 130-ft red brick chimney which towers over the local community. We intend to maintain and celebrate as much of the brewery’s unique heritage as possible, and this includes marking the site of the two original springs on site which originally provided fresh water for the brewery process.

“There was also significant support for our plans create a much needed sustainable, low carbon residential community on the site, with 168 homes providing a healthy mix of different types of accommodation. This will include a mix of one, two and three-bed family apartments through to duplex units and mews houses, together with affordable housing in line with the City of Edinburgh Council policy.”

Detailed plans submitted for homes-led transformation of Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewery

Mr Westwater added: “Artisan’s proposals for the Caledonian Brewery have also secured widespread support from the local business community with 75% of some 30 neighbouring businesses welcoming plans to bring new investment, interest and people into the area, with the brewery site having remained dormant and unused for the past 18 months.”

Previous projects by Artisan Real Estate include the New Waverley mixed-use development in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town and part of the World Heritage Site, as well as recently completing the transformation of Glasgow’s historic A-Listed Custom House into a thriving hotel quarter.

The Caledonian Brewery’s unique heritage and character will govern Artisan’s development approach. Around one fifth of the homes will be housed in the existing listed buildings which will be preserved and repurposed. Additional development proposals will respect and reflect the original footprint of the brewery – including recreating the skyline of the maltings buildings which was demolished following a fire almost 30 years ago.

Most of the listed buildings on the site date from the late 19th to early 20th century and were constructed using distinctive red brick with white brick dressings. The existing brewhouse and maltings were built in 1892 following designs by renowned Edinburgh architect Robert Hamilton Paterson, who also designed the Royal Scots War Memorial in the city’s St Giles Cathedral.

The brewery currently houses a vast amount of brewing equipment - including what was the last remaining direct fired ‘coppers’ to be used in the UK, which have been attracting the interest of independent breweries across the world. As part of the redevelopment plans, Artisan intends to ‘upcycle’ as much of the internal equipment as possible, allowing the Caledonian Brewery’s significant technical legacy to continue to play a part in today’s global brewing industry.

Share icon
Share this article: