Trams to Newhaven redesign secures future of Discovery Garden

The Discovery Garden at Ocean Terminal is to be retained under a redesign of the Trams to Newhaven project.

Trams to Newhaven redesign secures future of Discovery Garden

The project team, working in partnership with Ocean Terminal owners Ambassador, met with members of the local community to discuss their concerns about the design, which had been inherited from the previous ownership. Following this, the designs were amended meaning that the garden will remain alongside Ocean Terminal, where public realm is being redeveloped under the scheme.

City of Edinburgh Council leader Adam McVey said: “We know how strongly the community feels about this local greenspace, so I’m delighted that Ambassador and our Trams to Newhaven team have been able to secure its future as part of the site’s redevelopment.

“Once complete this scheme will deliver a great many benefits to Leith, offering quality, sustainable transport, unlocking the area for housing and economic development. We want everyone to share in this, while retaining the local features that residents know and love, so I’m pleased we’ve reached a solution.”

Jennifer Marlborough, secretary of the Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council, said: “Leith Harbour and Newhaven Community Council is very pleased and relieved to hear that Discovery Garden is to be retained. We have worked hard, alongside local residents and users of the Garden, to ensure that the cultural and environmental value of this small park is not lost in the midst of development.

“This is particularly important in an area already largely devoid of green and community spaces. We thank Trees of Edinburgh, #SOS Leith and the local community for their help with our campaign. We now look forward to continuing to work with the Trams to Newhaven team and Ambassador Group, the new owners of Ocean Terminal, to properly secure the Garden’s future.”

Chris Richardson, managing director of Ambassador Investments, from Ambassador Group, said: “Ambassador, the owners of Ocean Terminal, were in agreement with the community council and local community that, where possible, elements of the Discovery Garden should remain within the constraints placed on Ocean Terminal due to the tram requirements. We are pleased that the revised designs have been amended which delivers a positive outcome for all parties involved.”

The main construction for the project began on Leith Walk in June, following a break in work as a result of COVID-19. This encompassed existing sites on Lindsay Road, Melrose Drive and Constitution Street.

An updated Final Business Case for Trams to Newhaven, reflecting on the impact of COVID-19, last week concluded that the economic case for the scheme remains positive. It also stated that the project is on track for completion within the originally agreed budget.

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