The council has just announced funding for community groups working to improve the look of the New Waverley development in the Old Town during the time of its construction. The projects to be funded will include ideas like art installations and festival lighting.

The New Waverley Community Fund (NWCF) is a joint project between the City of Edinburgh Council and Artisan Real Estate Investors, the developers of New Waverley, which is one of the Edinburgh 12 sites. The total fund available is £200,000 including £100,000 being held by the Council from a previous developer.

CanongateCommunity groups were asked to make bids for not-for-profit organisations for up to £25,000. The City Centre Neighbourhood Partnership then recommended six projects from the 20 bids submitted. Over half of the funds are being allocated at the moment and in early 2016 there will be another opportunity to make a bid for funding up to £25,000.

Edinburgh World Heritage (EWH) will lead on two projects, to improve the New Calton Burial Ground and to bring festive lighting to the Canongate.

EWH announced: “The project at New Calton Burial Ground looks to increase awareness and engagement with one of the city’s forgotten treasures, and also improve an important pedestrian route linking Calton Hill directly with the Canongate. Following on from the successes in other locations as part of the Edinburgh Graveyard Project, a volunteers group will be established to help promote and look after the burial ground, as well as adding new planting, interpretation and public events.

“We will also be working the council and the Canongate community to bring festive lighting to the area, creating a more appealing environment on dark winter evenings and increasing footfall to help support local businesses. A series of options will be considered, including using existing flag sockets to fix 3D white balls and providing a ceiling a white light stretching over the street at key points.”

Clive Wilding, New Waverley’s project director said: “These exciting projects show exactly why New Waverley is, and will become, such a special city centre destination.  They all celebrate the unique attributes that the area has – both in its physical heritage and the wonderful nooks and crannies that you can find there.  The projects include innovative art installations, the opening up of secret green spaces and the excitement of festive lighting – all becoming a brilliant and vibrant showcase highlighting what our development can bring to the city.”

New Waverley, Edinburgh from Gavin Bryce on Vimeo.

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Cllr Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, said “Work at the New Waverley site is now very visible and gathering pace. The development will create thousands of new jobs including apprenticeships, as well as boosting the local economy. Some really interesting projects have been successful and will help to create a real buzz in the area ahead of the development being completed.”

The projects include:

Stars in New Waverley by Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust

To celebrate Edinburgh’s UNESCO literature and heritage status, stunning light installations will showcase the area’s literary heritage supported by a trail in the windows of businesses along the Royal Mile. Well known writers will be commissioned to provide words inspired by the city. These will then combine with the area’s heritage to create large-scale light installations/interpretation through partnership with Edinburgh World Heritage’s Twelve Closes project.

Edinburgh Art Festival New Waverley Commission by Edinburgh Art Festival

Commissioning of an artist to develop a significant new artwork for the railway bridge situated at the meeting point between New Street and Calton Road. The installation will provide a prominent arrival point to the New Waverley development, reinvigorating a space that needs to be brightened up.

Jacobs Ladder Community Garden by Old Town Development Trust

Develop the derelict land on the north side of Calton Road (around Jacobs Ladder and Railway Bridge). Residents in Calton Road and Tolbooth Wynd a would help to design a community garden which could be a wild flower garden, a forest garden, a vegetable site and/or an orchard.

Canongate Festive Lighting by Edinburgh World Heritage on behalf of several community partners

Installation of Christmas lighting in the Canongate (for an initial period of three to four festive seasons) to fulfil a long term aspiration of the Canongate community. It will help create a more visually appealing and welcoming night time environment for the Canongate, helping to encourage greater footfall and ensuring that the Canongate is included as part of the wider city centre festive celebrations.

Unlocking the secret of the New Calton Burial Ground by Edinburgh World Heritage

Stimulate better public access and use of the burial ground, enhance its appearance and encourage volunteers to join a “friends of” group. Increasing local community awareness and engagement with New Calton Burial Ground will significantly improve local amenity and the quality of life for residents, businesses and visitors in the New Waverley neighbourhood.

New Waverley  – Community Art by Spectrum Arts

Organising community art projects, installations, murals and workshops around the site, primarily on hoardings. This is made up of four activities: a large scale mural where the local community would be consulted on proposals, hoarding “toppers” to soften the impact of the hoardings, artwork, workshops where the local community can participate in the learning and creation process, and street art events known as “jams”.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: “The Canongate is an important but overlooked part of the World Heritage Site. We are thrilled for all the successful applicants on their worthwhile projects, particularly because these are ideas generated by the local community, with the backing of local groups such as the Canongate and Holyrood Initiative, the Old Town Development Trust and the Royal Mile Business Association.”