Waterfront Edinburgh Ltd (WEL) is transforming a stretch of Scotland’s shoreline lost to the community for decades – as well as transforming itself.
Already renowned for being responsible for one of Scotland’s most significant regeneration projects, the forward-thinking board that took over the project last year has proven its responsiveness by reappraising the business for the current economic climate to fully achieve its ambitious vision.
Chief Executive at WEL Colin Hunter said the credit crunch had presented challenges and opportunities for regeneration projects in Scotland.
He said: “The current economic climate admittedly posed serious challenges to WEL’s development strategy for Granton and we had to seriously reevaluate how we were going to achieve our vision to create one of Europe’s most vibrant city quarters.
“But by reappraising our business plan we have discovered that the credit crunch has pushed us into alternative ways of thinking that will benefit our long-term regeneration plans to create thousands of homes, jobs and a bustling community in Granton.
“Edinburgh should rightly have a waterfront which sits equal with any other in the world and we have the vision and the drive to make this so.”
Sustainability is key to the work of WEL, both in terms of environmental impact and creating a sustainable community where quality of life is unmatched and making the area a great place to live, work and enjoy life.
By creating social enterprises and combined heat and power systems, providing education, training and employment opportunities and promoting public transport links sustainability will remain at the heart of all work done to create a community in Granton.
It will also potentially present the community with opportunities such as high-speed broadband facilities, water links to Fife and community ownership of communal areas.
Colin added: “The very point of regeneration is to create better places for people to live and communities that are inclusive rather than exclusive, where people can walk in a matter of minutes for a pint of milk or a pint of beer.
“We have unashamedly set the vision high. I know it will present us with many challenges and that we may not accomplish everything we set out to achieve.
“I want us to think big about the Waterfront at Granton, to rise to the challenges and deliver something truly exceptional.”