by Annabel Cooper
It’s celebration time for the Save Leith campaign as Forth Ports announced they would scrap plans to name part of their Leith docks development ‘Edinburgh Harbour’. The area of Leith earmarked for a cruise terminal will instead be called ‘The Harbour, Leith Docks’. The announcement came after a final round of talks between the property developer and Edinburgh Council yesterday. Forth Ports had originally resisted any change to the branding of their multi million pound development but turned full circle last night amid strong opposition from Leith residents.
Chares Hammond, chief executive of Forth Ports, said:
“We have listened very carefully to the views expressed in the last couple of weeks and working closely with the City Council, we have taken these on board in arriving at the final decision to name this part of the overall development The Harbour, Leith Docks.”
Forth Ports had insisted that including Edinburgh in the name was vital to ensure the commercial success of the re-development which will include an international cruise terminal, restaurants, bars and hotels. But local residents stood firm in their demands to retain their identity.
Save Leith campaigner and local politician Ian McGill was delighted by the turn around. He said:
“This is great news and exactly the result we wanted! It looks like Leith lives to fight another day!”
“Retaining ‘Leith’ in the name of the development is very welcome. Charles Hammond and I had a very constructive meeting at which I presented the case for ‘Leith.’ Forth Ports has listened to the arguments, listened to the community and has made the right choice.”
Councillor Rob Munn, Deputy Lord Provost and Leith Councillor, was also present. He said:
“I am proud to have represented the Leith community’s strong feeling and to have helped protect an important part of Leith’s heritage. Leith has a proud and prominent history as the major port of Edinburgh. I am delighted that Forth Ports has listened to local residents and has ensured that the good name of Leith will be at the forefront of the economic success and prosperity that the Forth Ports development will deliver.”
Forth Ports’ plans span a 144 hectare site at Leith Docks and include nine ‘urban villages’ providing new homes, outdoor spaces and leisure facilities for residents and visitors. The new international cruise terminal makes up two of the planned ‘villages’ and forms the focal point of the development.