The building by the canal which has become home to Edinburgh Printmakers has won the inaugural Royal Institution for Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Social Impact Award.

A shortlist was compiled in February of those projects which transform Scottish communities and people’s lives. And Edinburgh Printmakers was formed from the former North British Rubber Company building which was the only part of the 19th century Castle Mills industrial complex which remained.

We have visited the building several times and it is a huge addition to the arts landscape in Edinburgh.

Eight have now been chosen in their categories, and Edinburgh Printmakers gets the highest award. The awards support The Prince’s Trust campaign to get young people into construction, and try to identify the best examples of property developments which recognise the real estate industry’s vital role in society.

RICS Social Impact Awards Head Judge for Scotland, Colin Smith (Turley Head of Planning, Scotland), commented: “The Edinburgh Printmakers project has saved and creatively adapted one of the last vestiges of the industrial and social history of Fountainbridge, the former headquarters of the North British Rubber Factory.

“The project has ingeniously inserted a range of public facing new uses into the building, respecting its fabric, character and heritage, and done so in a way that provides access for all throughout and which opens the building out to engage with its emerging surroundings. It is a multi-faceted gem.”

He continued: “The built environment is an integral part of the Scottish economy but also makes a positive impact on our everyday lives. In these challenging times, it is warming to reflect on these winning projects, and how they are not only a demonstration of the breadth of talent within the profession, but showcase how buildings can make towns and cities across the country more inclusive and deliver communities which people can be proud of.”

  • Commercial: TECA – creating a world-class events and leisure complex
  • Education: University of Glasgow Campus Development
  • Healthcare: Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice
  • Heritage: Edinburgh Printmakers
  • Infrastructure: Glenrothes Energy Network
  • Leisure: The Fraser Centre
  • Residential: North Sighthill Regeneration
  • Student Accommodation: Baird’s Close Two
Edinburgh Printmakers as work begins
Photo taken in June 2017 when the building was still being worked on. PHOTO ©2020 The Edinburgh Reporter
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Founding Editor of The Edinburgh Reporter.
Edinburgh-born multimedia journalist and iPhoneographer.