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Former tram depot turned into £1.3m studio for artists

Leith Walk Studios will provide workspace for growing companies and creative projects.

Leith Walk Studios has opened.
Leith Walk Studios has opened. STV

Reporting by Holly Jones.

A forgotten former depot once used for Edinburgh's original tram system has been transformed into a new business and creative hub, 60 years after it was last used.

Leith Walk Studios officially opened on Tuesday, marking the completion of the £1.3m regeneration project.

The "at-risk" listed building will act as flexible workspace for growing companies, with the goal to help create new job openings and training opportunities for locals.

Community and arts organisation Out of the Blue will collaborate with the council, managing units and space for Edinburgh business owners, entrepreneurs and artists.

Temporary space, created by shipping containers, is being used by artists to help tackle the drastic shortage of studio space in the city.

The campaign to support Edinburgh business leaders comes in a joint investment, as the Scottish Government provided a £750,000 grant alongside £530,000 from the city council.

Artists will make use of the new facility.
Artists will make use of the new facility. STV

The building at 165A Leith Walk was stripped back to its shell to make room for studios for artists and creative entrepreneurs, a social enterprise café that includes employment and training, as well as an educational facility and retail access.

The project hopes to breathe a new lease of life into the area.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: "I was delighted to see first-hand the positive impact this project is having on the local community in Leith.

"Leith Walk Studios will create employment and training opportunities as well as providing a base for local businesses and entrepreneurs.

"This is another good example of how the Scottish Government is working in partnership with local authorities to support community regeneration projects, in this case bringing a derelict building back into use."

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