Crucial step forward for Leith community as Duncan Place is awarded £1.2m for refurbishment.
Plans to re-open Duncan Place in Leith as a community resource under local management
are set to go ahead after receiving an award of £1.2m from the Scottish Governments Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF). This funding will allow the building to be refurbished prior to it being transferred to the newly registered charity, Duncan Place. This community led organisation aims to have the much needed space re-opened by 2020, which will be in time to celebrate Duncan Places centenary!
The vision for Duncan Place is to create a thriving community hub providing affordable studios and offices for charitable organisations, support services and social enterprises alongside community space for events, classes and workshops with a focus on arts, health, education, well-being and reducing inequality in Leith.
Carol Leslie, Chairperson of Duncan Place, said “This is a such a boost for the folks in Leith. It was a busy, lively centre and a great resource for everyone who used it before its closure. When it re-opens the centre will be a fitted out with up-to-date facilities, have disabled and lift access and be an energy efficient building. Duncan Place will be a fantastic space for groups, clubs and classes to meet and come together. It will be community owned, community-led with office and studio space to help sustain the community activities and resources”.
Carol added, “We would like to thank the council along with our members and Leithers who have helped to get us to this stage. We invite everyone to get in touch and to follow the progress on Facebook at Duncan Place Leith, on twitter using @duncan_place or via the website duncanplace.org”
The community saved the historic building from demolition in 2014, and since then the dedicated trustees of Duncan Place have worked tirelessly to secure the building and return it to the Community of Leith. The trustees have had great support from the residents of Leith, working closely with them and with the City of Edinburgh Council to get to this point. Together they have raised close to £1.5m of funding to refurbish and re-open the much loved and used community space.
Leader of City of Edinburgh Council, Adam McVey, said: “This is brilliant news for Leith and the city! Another community hub is to be brought back to life due to regeneration funding from the Scottish Government. This project is an excellent example of what collaboration and partnership working between the public and voluntary sectors can achieve.
“We’ve worked well with the group taking forward this project and knowing those involved from the community, I’m chuffed they’ve done such a fantastic job in bringing back Duncan Place back into use.
“The funding will help to reduce inequality through the provision of much needed affordable space for events, classes and workshops on health, education and well-being and I’m excited to see the next phase of the project develop.”