The Scottish Government has announced £25 million of funding for community projects which includes £3.7 million for North Edinburgh.

This will help to transform the area into a cultural hub to inspire local communities for generations to come.

A new multi-use community hub with an early years centre for 185 children, a library and additional space for North Edinburgh Arts on Pennywell Road has been awarded £2 million from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

In addition, an industrial unit in Granton Waterfront, part of the Council’s £1.3 billion sustainable regeneration project in the area, being transformed into a vibrant creative and community hub by arts charity Edinburgh Palette, has received £1.7 million.

Lesley Hinds, Chair of North Edinburgh Arts said: “North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) is an award winning project with strong community support, and we are thrilled to be awarded funding from The Scottish Government.

“This funding will ensure NEA can move forward with its joint project, the Macmillan Hub, in partnership with The City of Edinburgh Council, which will provide so much for the local area. NEA recently achieved Community Asset Transfer funding, enabling the community to own the NEA building, land and garden, which will allow expansion of the services – something that will become ever more essential as we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Our challenge now is to secure the remaining funding required to each our target, but this award means we are well on our way. I want to give my thanks to the NEA Board, staff, officers at The City of Edinburgh Council, Richard Murphy Architects and, most importantly, the community of North Edinburgh for their continued support.

Council Leader Adam McVey said: “This funding comes as a fantastic endorsement for the work we’re doing to create equal and sustainable communities in North Edinburgh. Coming just before Christmas at a very difficult time for communities still struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic it is very welcome news indeed.

“It will help enormously with our multi-use hub adding to our major success story in regenerating North Edinburgh. It’s so exciting to see this joint project with North Edinburgh Arts getting this recognition and endorsement.  As well as a cultural hub, the funding will help provide an accessible library and quality early years care at the heart of the community.”

Depute Leader Cammy Day said: “In recent years our North Edinburgh regeneration project has brought massive positive change and a more equal and sustainable future for the communities living in the Pennywell and Muirhouse areas. It’s great to see further investment completing our regeneration at MacMillan Square.

“The pandemic is very much still with us and I’m so pleased communities in North Edinburgh have some inspiration and great news for the New Year. This further investment for our creative and community hub at Granton Waterfront enhances our £1.3bn wider Granton Waterfront project and follows on from our work with communities building new homes and facilities nearby.  I’m pleased to see the new hub being delivered for us by Edinburgh Palette in Granton Waterfront is receiving the recognition it deserves.”