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Drum faces the music following Leith Walk consultation

May 14 2018

Drum faces the music following Leith Walk consultation
Drum Property Group has revised its proposals to replace a run of sandstone shop units on Edinburgh’s Leith Walk with a mixed-use development comprising housing, student accommodation and replacement retail following consultation feedback.

The developer has now pledged to include independent retail, restaurant and entertainment units along Leith Walk, with an all-new live music, art and exhibition venueat its heart, moves which Drum believes will maintain the area’s ‘distinctive feel and character’.
Modelled on the existing Leith Walk frontage the latest plans seek to maintain a live music presence on the parade following the closure of Leith Depot at the end of its lease in 2019.

Opening up a new through-route between Pilrig Park and Leith Walk the project seeks to establish a ‘strong linear building line’ with active frontages and communal green spaces with development arranged around a series of courtyards.

Fife Hyland, communications director at Drum said: “The existing buildings at Stead’s Place are no longer an economically viable investment for us and we propose to invest £50 million in a new mixed-use development when all of the existing tenants move out and the site is completely vacant in 2019.

“We are now having positive discussions with many of the current traders with a view to encouraging them to return to the new development on completion – offering favourable rents, in line with current levels, and significantly lower than market value.

“We want this development to be a blueprint for introducing modern, contemporary design on to the high street without sacrificing the individuality and vibrancy that makes Leith unique.  We feel our revised proposals, incorporating sympathetic design with an eclectic mix of tenants and a stand-out live music venue, will continue the rich tradition of diversity, independence and interest which makes Leith Walk such an exciting destination in which to live, work and visit.”    

A detailed planning application for the Leith Walk frontage and the industrial estate behind is expected to be filed shortly.


#1 Posted by Jarek on 14 May 2018 at 12:04 PM
It looks like the smallest music venue in the world with no space for stage and audience. Drum are amazing in their verbal gymnastics. Not that great in producing design that works.
#2 Posted by Elend on 14 May 2018 at 14:01 PM
#1: Unfit venue > No gigs > Quick fix > Replacement with another rubbish chain retailer > Profit. You're sure in liguistic equilibristics part though :)
#3 Posted by ouime on 14 May 2018 at 20:31 PM
too small a venue. so pointless unless it's for one person stuck in the corner with an acoustic guitar. so not really a 'venue,' but more a quiet noise in the background of babble. more than one person and a small PA and back-line? far too noisy for the neighbours to cope with. result? stop the music. HELLO! ...its Edinburgh.
#4 Posted by Barry on 14 May 2018 at 20:36 PM
nice press release to promote drum. I'd like to know the details of favourable rents, in line with but not at current levels and significantly lower than market values, market values where, not the current market values but higher market values drum decides are appropriate for its investment of £50m, as the current rents and values are not an economically viable investment. Surely the overall development is economically viable and profitable or it wouldn't be going ahead at all. Please stop glossing over the exploitation of leith and the destruction of its affordability, culture and community for corporate profit. I don't understand how a transient student and tourist population is good for the community. I'm sure no one involved in the project lives in this community or has spent any length of time here. It's very condescending and really all about greed. Who really benefits and profits? Will the affordable housing be built first or last? Will it be in the best part of the development with the best views etc? Or will it be like the Cala development on the old post Office Depot still being built at a ridiculously slow pace?
#5 Posted by Frank on 15 May 2018 at 09:09 AM
For your information. the rent without Drum subsidy will be around 6 times the level now.
3 times if you take up their 'bonus offer' after making you homeless for 2-3 years.And how many tenants are actually returning? You never seem to hear that from Drum pr. Though they've been trotting out this business line for months, maybe because nobody is interested.
#6 Posted by Jarek on 15 May 2018 at 12:12 PM
#5 hipergentrification and studentification at it's best...
Currently Leith Depot hosts a gig or an event almost every night. Sometimes there are two running simultaneously on each floor. Considering the proposed student accommodation above the acoustic separation would have to be of the quality of a music studio (insulated box in the box, double walls, floating floors, no windows etc etc.) I don’t see how it is feasible over two floors with the huge window shown on the image. Since this is not required by regulations it simply would not be delivered (because why Drum would spend a penny if they don’t have to). It is just another marketing trick. Empty words needed to force the demolition approval through.
#7 Posted by del on 16 May 2018 at 13:34 PM
So if the site is not economically viable, why did they buy it? And we know there's a simple answer: demolish and rebuild and make £££ profit. Change of ownership, change of land agent, and no-one is getting renewed leases. A deliberately induced atmosphere of neglect thanks to some empty units. Unsurprisingly, loads of locals are up in arms about this. It's not about the architecture, it's about the people who run many small businesses. And a few shops that started up relatively recently and whose owners have walked onto a sucker punch. Leith Depot simply being the one generating the most publicity.

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