Final phase of Powderhall Stables transformation begins

The final phase of the City of Edinburgh Council’s Powderhall Stables refurbishment, which will transform a historic 1890s former stable block in the Broughton neighbourhood of Edinburgh into work and events spaces, is now under way.

Final phase of Powderhall Stables transformation begins

As part of the redevelopment of the wider site, Powderhall Stables will deliver a mix of individual studios and co-working spaces aimed at microbusinesses, supporting dozens of jobs. The building will also feature two flexible function spaces with kitchen facilities suitable for hosting a wide variety of events. The former stabling yard to the rear of the building will be turned into a new plaza.

The facility is set to open in early 2022, with the council preparing to seek expressions of interest from potential operators.

The refurbishment of the building has been designed by Collective Architecture, supported by a design team including Currie & Brown, David Narro Associates, and RSP Consulting Engineers.

Following completion of a package of enabling works by Chamic Industrial Services, the main contract will be delivered by the construction services provider Sharkey, which has a strong track record of delivering heritage projects in Edinburgh including the overhaul of the historic Dalry Swim Centre.

The refurbishment of Powderhall Stables has been made possible by support from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund along with Miller Homes’ Bonnington Micro Business Fund.

Final phase of Powderhall Stables transformation begins

Powderhall Stables forms part of the council-led regeneration of the old Powderhall Waste Transfer Station and adjoining former bowling greens. The wider development will deliver over 200 homes and an Early Learning and Childcare Centre, along with new green spaces and enhanced public realm, including improvements to St. Mark’s Path and two new squares.

Councillor Kate Campbell, the council’s housing, homelessness, and fair work convener, said: “We’ve been talking about the potential of the stables block at Powderhall for a long time – it’s so good that work is now starting, and we’ll see it back in use as a cornerstone of the whole development.

“The community were very involved in shaping these plans and telling us what they needed from the development. So, it’s fantastic that this amazing building will be available next year, supporting jobs by providing affordable work space for small businesses and local people, alongside creating a flexible space for the community to use.

“It’s part of our wider regeneration of this site, delivering new affordable homes and facilities that will benefit the whole community.”

Councillor Mandy Watt, the council’s housing, homelessness, and fair work vice convener, said: “I’m looking forward to seeing the development start to take shape over the course of next year, restoring the lovely stable blocks, bringing them back into use and giving local residents back this area that has been unused for so long.

“Earlier this year we also saw planning permission submitted for the former Bowling Green site as part of the wider Powderhall development. This will see one of the first intergenerational facilities built in Scotland and will offer health and wellbeing benefits for the older residents and new learning and social opportunities for children attending the nursery.”

Community wealth minister, Tom Arthur, added: “This is a great project which will restore the previously abandoned category B-listed former stable block, transform it into a modern work and events space and provide the local community with new places to work, learn and socialise. This project has been made possible by £1.4 million investment from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, with local community involvement in progressing the plans.

“The fund is playing a vital role, helping reinvigorate local communities and town centres by investing in projects that provide jobs and support local businesses. We are committed to seizing Scotland’s economic potential, creating secure, sustainable and satisfying jobs and supporting businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic. As part of that work, we are continuing to empower local people to invest in their communities’ future.”

Mark Halliday, contracts director for Sharkey, said: “We are delighted to be involved in delivering a restoration project that will repair, protect and enhance the heritage of one of Edinburgh’s valued public buildings. We very much look forward to working in collaboration with the rest of the project team and to sharing our skills and experience on this exciting regeneration project.”

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