Leith Waterworld – Canal college – Action on letting agents – 10 new commissions in Art Festival – Slow Food event in June
Leith Waterworld is in the news again. The family pool was closed last year and mothballed until something could be done with the building. A closing date for sale came and went. Then the council decided to allow the community group Splashback some time to try and reopen the pool and run it, albeit with some help and supervision from the council.
It was reported earlier this week that the council had received an unsolicited offer for the premises of £1m. Splashback put out a statement as to their position and now Councillor Richard Lewis has taken time to put forward the council’s stance. The minutes of the January council meeting report the full wording of the council’s agreement with the group who are determined to reopen the pool for everyone to use.
Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture and Sport Convener, said:- “Over the last few months officials and elected members have been working closely with Splashback to progress the feasibility phase of their community bid to run Leith Waterworld. I’d like to thank Splashback for their continued commitment to developing their community bid.
“The council had agreed in January to re-market the property whilst we were supporting the feasibility phase of Splashback’s bid and in the intervening months we received two new unsolicited notes of interest in purchasing Leith Waterworld, one of which is being taken to council for consideration.”
canal college, the innovative, outdoors skills training programme for 16- 25 year olds who are not currently in education, employment or training, opens in Edinburgh during the first week of June.
Designed by the Scottish Waterways Trust to help address youth unemployment in Edinburgh, canal college offers young people the opportunity to gain work experience and a wide range of practical skills and awards through projects on the Union Canal.
The first programme in Edinburgh will be run in partnership with the Scottish Rural College (SRUC) with volunteer participants working towards two units in the SVQ Level 2 in Landscaping and Amenity Horticulture as well as the SQA Certificate of Work Readiness.
During the 18 week course, the volunteer mentors and participants will carry out a wide range of practical projects and work towards a number of additional awards and certificates.
Projects on the Union Canal and at SRUC’s Oatridge Campus in Broxburn will include landscaping, tree planting and vegetation management, wildlife conservation, trail creation, canal engineering, maintenance, management and customer service.
canal college also welcomes people over 25 years of age, who are perhaps retired or currently unemployed, and who can get involved as volunteer mentors supporting the young people whilst themselves benefitting from achieving the same skills, practical outdoors learning and awards.
The £468,189 canal college, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Union Interreg IVB North West Europe programme, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Canals, will run for two years and comprise twelve individual 14 week part-time courses.
Karen Moore, Chief Executive, Scottish Waterways Trust, says:
“canal college is a fantastic opportunity for young people who want to get on the path to work but need some help, whether that’s developing new skills, gaining more confidence or boosting their CV with practical work experience and a clutch of awards.
“We understand how difficult it is to get that first job so canal college has been designed to cover a wide range of skills but also to introduce the young people directly to people working on the canals and within the heritage and environment fields who can talk about their jobs but, more importantly, how they themselves got there.
“canal college is also there to benefit the canals and surrounding communities – each project will make a real difference to the waterside environment, whether that’s bringing the social history and wildlife to life through new walking trails or creating new pathways, benches and planting.”
The volunteer mentors and participants on each course over the next two years will also work on a ‘Signature Project’.
In Edinburgh, the Signature Project is the creation of a new Gateway linking Calders with the Union Canal. The volunteer mentors and participants will learn about landscape design, from putting plans on paper through to bringing the ideas to life.
The volunteer mentors and participants will also work towards a number of awards to boost their CV, including the Saltire Volunteer Award, John Muir Award (Discovery Level), Youth Achievement Award and canal college Award.
Towards the end of the programme, all will be given help with job seeking and interview skills leading to a Presentation Skills Certificate.
They will also receive a canal college Award for completing the programme.
The canal college course will begin on Thursday 6th June and then run between Tuesday and Friday each week. Travel expenses will be paid.
Volunteer Mentors Sought
The Scottish Waterways Trust is looking for volunteer mentors over 25 years of age to help the young people reach their full potential and get on the path towards their first job.
Alan Forrester of the Scottish Waterways Trust explains:
“We’re keen to hear from anyone who has the skills to help us teach landscaping, tree and vegetation management, stonework, carpentry, wildlife conservation, trail creation, engineering or maintenance.
“We also welcome volunteers who perhaps don’t have the hard skills but who can make a real difference by helping us develop the softer skills, motivating the young people and giving them more confidence to stretch themselves.
“If you are considering volunteering, I’d encourage you to think about canal college. By offering your time, you can really make a difference to the success of the young people coming to canal college. We’re pretty certain you’ll enjoy your own rewards too, whether that’s learning new skills, meeting new people, simply getting outdoors or boosting your CV with some valuable volunteering and conservation awards including the Saltire Award and John Muir Award (Discovery Level).”
Find out more today. Telephone Alan Forrester at the Scottish Waterways Trust on 07768 951740.
The Scottish Government has revealed intentions to begin regulating letting agents, in answer to a question from Edinburgh Central MSP Marco Biagi.
Edinburgh Central has the highest concentration of renting households in Scotland – over 40% of people live in a rented property. A shortage of homes and Edinburgh’s rapidly growing population has made letting an agents’ market. This has led to campaigns like those run by Shelter and the Edinburgh Private Tenants Action Group, who have identified so-called ‘rogue’ landlords and called for action to be taken against them.
Housing minister Margaret Burgess set out her intention to launch a new private rented sector strategy at the end of this month. The Minister made clear that regulation of the industry ‘received broad support’ in her consultation. A new Housing Bill is also expected later this year to introduce changes to the law.
Last year the Scottish Government made tenancy deposit protections compulsory and clarified the 1982 Rent Act to prevent letting agents loading rents with up-front add-on costs. The Minister’s statement suggests strongly that more substantial changes are on the way.
Marco Biagi MSP said:-“Private tenants and their neighbours need to have confidence in letting agents. Neighbours need to know that the agents will carry out repairs and maintenance diligently, and tenants need to know that they will be treated fairly. Slapdash renting leads to the worst kind of tenancy, where mutual suspicion between letting agents and tenants can lead to less regard for the property, community and local area. Reputable landlords can also take heart from the clear objective of cracking down on the cowboys who are increasingly giving the whole sector a bad name.
“The current system of regulating the private rented sector was designed for a time when rates of renting were less than half what they are now. I’ve been promoting reform since I was elected, and look forward to the Scottish Government’s imminent strategy being published and taken forward.”
Edinburgh Art Festival announces 10 new commissions to celebrate its 10th edition
This August, Edinburgh Art Festival (EAF) will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a series of 10 new public art commissions sited across the Festival city. Visitors will encounter site-specific artworks by leading Scottish and international artists throughout Edinburgh, from installations created for some of the city’s most historic landmarks, to works sited in unexpected spaces, including Edinburgh’s famous skyline. Placing
cutting-edge contemporary art into the context of this world heritage city, the commissions programme will be supported by a series of special events, tours and one-off performances.
The 2013 festival commissions programme, titled Parley, celebrates art that generates and depends on dialogue for its realisation, offering a site for debate, discussion and exploration. In a year in which Scotland begins to debate its future, Parley takes inspiration from Miralles and Tagliabue, architects of the new Scottish parliament building (also celebrating its 10th year) who devised ‘not a building in a park or a garden but a form for gathering people’.
Highlights will include:
- A new installation by 1997 Turner Prize nominee Christine Borland in
collaboration with Brody Condon for the burnt out Watchtower of the New
Calton Burial Ground examining ideas of decay and dereliction
- Robert Montgomery’s first major work for Edinburgh since graduating from
Edinburgh College of Art in 1999, a new ‘Fire Poem’ sited on The Mound
- Krijn de Koning’s first ever exhibition in the UK, a site-specific
installation which will transform Edinburgh College of Art’s iconic
sculpture court into a specially designed platform for debate and
- Peter Liversidge’s Flags for Edinburgh project, which will encourage
Edinburgh’s institutions to replace their usual flags with a simple message
of ‘HELLO’ for the duration of the Festival
- The first publicly sited sculpture by one of Scotland’s most exciting
young artists, Sara Barker, made for the wooded landscape of Jupiter
The Parley commissioned artists are Christine Borland with Brody Condon, Peter Liversidge, Sarah Kenchington, Ross Sinclair, Robert Montgomery, Katri Walker, Krijn de Koning, Sara Barker, Kenny Watson and Daniel Padden with Peter Nicholson.
Two Parley symposium events have been specially conceived for Krijn de Koning’s installation in Edinburgh College of Art’s Sculpture Court by artists Ross Sinclair and Rachel Maclean.
Sorcha Carey, Director, Edinburgh Art Festival, said:-
“Our annual commissions programme has grown to become an essential part of Edinburgh’s summer festival offering. Our 2013 programme, the most ambitious to date, celebrates art’s unique capacity to promote dialogue and debate; and we are particularly excited that this latest edition sees leading and emerging Scottish and international artists collaborate across borders to make new work for Scotland’s extraordinary capital city.”
News from Summerhall about an event in June
Meet and Greet the Champions of Scottish Food 9th June 2013 – 12:30pm to 4:00pm
Tickets: £20.00 / Concession: £15.00 (SF Members only) Book TIckets on the Summerhall website
Join us for a special event, a collaboration of Summerhall and Slow Food UK, to celebrate the end of Slow Food Week 2013. 10 top Scottish chefs from the Slow Food UK Chef Alliance will be welcoming you on the day to showcase the best of local and seasonal Scottish produce, championing small-scale food producers. All ticket proceeds will be donated to Slow Food UK to support the Forgotten Foods programme and to continue protecting British edible biodiversity.
Learn the top tips about bread-making, preserving, braising, curing and seasoning and enjoy the little treats our chefs will prepare for you on the day! A free whisky tasting provided by Highland Park will be running the entire afternoon explain how to pair the chef’s creations with whisky expressions. Grana Padano has also kindly donated a half wheel of their Consorzio cheese for guests to taste in the afternoon.
A free whisky tasting provided by Highland Park will explain how to pair the chef’s creations with whisky expressions and free Lavazza espresso will be available for everyone during the afternoon. Grana Padano has also kindly donated a wheel of their Consorzio cheese for guests to taste.
- 12:30 – Arrival and welcome drink
- 13:15 – 13:45 Official welcome
- 14:00 – 16:00 Meet and greet the chefs individual ‘express masterclasses’
- 13:45 – 16:00 Whisky tasting
Andrew Hardie (29) was last seen leaving his home address in Lawson Crescent around 10.15pm last night (Wednesday).
He is described as white, 5ft 8ins tall, with a slim build, and short dark hair, with stubble. When last seen he was wearing dark blue jeans, white trainers, and an orange t-shirt with ‘Superdry’ across the chest.
Inspector Rory Hamilton said: “Andrew hasn’t been seen or heard from since he left his home address last night, and we are keen for any information that can help us establish his current whereabouts.
“Anyone who has seen or heard from Andrew overnight, or who has any other information that can assist our enquiries, should contact Police Scotland immediately on 101.
“The development of Leith Waterworld as a community-led social enterprise would support the first two partnership commitments of the coalition, namely ‘ensuring every child in Edinburgh has the best start in life’ and ‘reducing poverty, inequality and deprivation’. The coalition agreement acknowledged the breakdown in trust between the residents of Edinburgh and their elected representatives, and that the city will be able to judge the Council against the promises it makes in the agreement. “Splashback understands that this new bid leaves Councillors with a decision to make at next week’s Full Council meeting – whether to continue working with us to achieve a revitalised Leith Waterworld, or to pursue the new bid at this stage. However, we have faith in the letter and the spirit of the amendment carried on 31 January, and believe that the conviction displayed by Councillors on that day will guide their decision. We look forward to continuing to work with the Council to deliver on the commitments they made in January.“
The Lord Provost Donald Wilson today backed Hibernian to bring The Scottish Cup back to Edinburgh for a second successive season.
“On behalf of the city – or one half of it, at least – I would like wish Hibernian the very best of luck in the Scottish Cup Final on Sunday, he said.
“Pat Fenlon’s side have ended their league campaign in a rich vein of form, winning their final three games in some style. Let’s hope they can make it four in a row against Celtic at Hamdpen, lifting the Scottish Cup and ending their fans’ long wait for success in this historic competition.
“I’m sure the many thousands of Hibs fans heading west will do their team and their city proud on what will hopefully be another momentous day for the Capital. And, if the team do bring the trophy back to Leith, we can look forward to a second successive Scottish Cup victory parade through the streets of Edinburgh.
“Interestingly, Hibs’ last victory in the competition came a year after Hearts lifted the trophy. And, in another echo of the past, their opponents that day were Celtic. Here’s hoping that history repeats itself.”
If Hibs are victorious, the Lord Provost will welcome the team and backroom staff into the City Chambers on Monday evening for a celebratory reception.
The victory parade will follow, with the open-top bus departing from the High Street at 7.00pm, travelling down to Easter Road Stadium via North Bridge, Waterloo Place, Regent Road, Easter Road and Albion Road. It is expected to last around 45 minutes.
With a large turnout expected on Monday, drivers should plan their journeys and take account of any road closures in operation during the parade. Traffic management arrangements can be found on the council website.
The club are also planning a celebratory event at the stadium immediately following the parade. Gates will be open from 6.00–7.00pm so fans must choose between the two. Further details available from www.hibernianfc.co.uk
The Lord Provost added: “We are asking fans to plan ahead and to behave responsibly both on match day and during the celebrations that follow. Our officers have been working closely with the club and police to ensure that both run smoothly and safely and can be enjoyed by all.”
With the Edinburgh Marathon also taking place on Sunday, fans driving to Glasgow are reminded to leave the city via Ferry Road. Again, visit the council website for information on road closures.
Two men have admitted responsibility for an armed robbery at a George Street jewellery store earlier this year.
At the High Court in Glasgow, 25-year-old Elliot Jorgensen and 26-year-old Anthony Boyd pled guilty to being involved in an incident at the Rox store on George Street on Tuesday 15 January 2013.
Around £1million worth of jewellery was taken from the premises before those responsible made off on a motorbike.
A major police investigation was launched to identify those responsible and both men were later arrested in the Greater Manchester area.
A third man, who was also charged in connection with the robbery pled not guilty to being involved and has been released from police custody.
Detective Inspector Bobby Deas, who led the investigation said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the staff at Rox to endure and resulted in a large quantity of valuable jewellery being stolen from the store.
“Officers launched a robust investigation to trace the men involved and with the assistance and co-operation of our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police, we were able to ensure that both men were brought to justice.
“A significant case was built against both Jorgensen and Boyd and this has been vindicated by their decision to plead guilty today.
“Police Scotland is committed to keeping people safe and tackling crimes of violence and offences where weapons are used.
“Anyone found to be responsible for crimes of this nature can expect to be dealt with to the fullest extent of the law.”
Police in Edinburgh are urging the public to remain vigilant after several card skimming devices were recovered from cash machines in the South of the city.
Between 2nd April and 19th May, officers received numerous reports of suspicious equipment attached to ATMs in the Newtown, Bruntsfield, Marchmont and Morningside areas.
As a result, police seized devices from dispensers in Clerk Street, Marchmont Road, Comiston Road, Bruntsfield Place and Morningside Road.
Five people, who recently used these machines, then reported having three-figure sums of cash removed from their bank accounts and police are continuing to investigate whether others have been affected.
Officers are now urging those who use ATMs to look out for suspicious devices or activity around the machine and report any concerns to police.
PC Carol Menzies said: “Thanks to the vigilance of members of our community, these devices have since been recovered and our enquiries are on-going to determine where they came from and who fitted them to the ATMs.
“Unfortunately, a few people have fallen victim to card skimming, resulting in sums of cash being taken from their accounts.
“The public are urged to be on their guard for unusual looking equipment attached to cash machines, or anyone acting suspiciously in the nearby area.
“If you have concerns about a cash machine, do not use it and contact police immediately.”
Those with information can contact Police Scotland on 101 or alternatively, the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Edinburgh-based wave energy company Aquamarine Power has today received consent for a 40MW wave farm in the Western Isles. This will be the world’s largest fully-permitted ocean energy site.
Here is an animation produced to show you what will be happening out on the west coast of Lewis:-
The announcement was made by Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing, at the All-Energy Conference taking place this week in Aberdeen, and shows further support for the wave energy business in Scotland.
The green light from the government and its regulator Marine Scotland, along with onshore planning which was approved last September, means the Edinburgh firm, through its wholly owned subsidiary Lewis Wave Power Limited, will be able to begin installing their near-shore Oyster wave energy machines at the site in the next few years – once the necessary grid infrastructure has been put in place.
This will ultimately see the deployment of between 40 and 50 Oyster devices along the coast at Lag na Greine, near to Fivepenny Borve, in one of the best wave energy locations in Europe. Once complete, the farm will have the capacity to power nearly 30,000 homes.
Last year the local council, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), approved planning for the onshore hydroelectric power plant which will be connected to the Oyster wave energy farm.
Aquamarine Power are currently testing their second full scale wave machine, known as the Oyster 800, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and are now producing electrical power to the grid.
“This is a significant milestone for our company,” says Aquamarine Power Chief Executive Officer Martin McAdam. “The goal of our industry is to become commercial, and to do this we need two things – reliable technologies and a route to market. Our engineers are currently working hard on getting the technology right and we now have a site where we can install our first small farm, with a larger-scale commercial build out in the years ahead.
“We have worked in close consultation with the people and businesses of Lewis in the development of our proposals and would like to express our gratitude for their ongoing support. We were delighted with the turnout at the series of public exhibitions we held on Lewis last March, and we also commend government regulator Marine Scotland and the Western Isles Council for their positive approach.
“We believe wave energy presents an important opportunity for the Isle of Lewis. Our development could provide significant economic benefit to the local community. In Orkney, for example, we have spent over £5 million in the local economy during the installation of the first two Oyster devices and have worked with over 40 local companies as part of our commitment to sourcing much of the services and expertise we require locally.”
The £18 million Marine Renewables Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), launched at All-Energy last year, will now be used to provide a dedicated support mechanism for the wave sector to enable wave projects get to the first array stage and development.
The Scottish Government has explained that this tailored approach for wave energy will be complemented by an innovation support programme for the enabling technologies that are crucial to the success of the earliest wave and tidal arrays.
The government hope that the new proposal will ensure Scotland remains at the forefront of marine energy and is aimed at accelerating wave technologies towards commercial readiness, alongside their tidal counterparts.
Announcing the launch of the new scheme in Aberdeen today, Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said:-“Scotland has a world-leading resource and is a hot-bed of innovation and talent, making marine energy an exciting green growth sector. The fact that three leading tidal projects in Scottish waters have recently secured funding from other sources – the European Commission’s NER300 fund and the UK Government’s Marine Energy Array Demonstrator scheme – offers the prospect do something different with the MRCF. We now have the chance to provide much-needed support for other marine renewables activities, while still fulfilling the goal of the MRCF – which is to help commercialise the marine energy industry in Scotland.
“Scotland needs both wave and tidal stream technologies to help decarbonise our electricity system, increase energy security, and reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels.
“The need for differentiated funding for wave and tidal technologies has been debated for a while now within industry circles. The marine renewables industry has spoken and we have listened. All previous marine energy funding schemes have been open to both wave and tidal projects. We are proposing something very different here in Scotland, making us the first in the UK.”
Dr Stephen Wyatt, Director of Innovation at the Carbon Trust said:-“The Carbon Trust are delighted to be working with the Scottish Government to deliver this dedicated support mechanism of financial and technical support for the wave sector to enable wave projects to get to the first array stage. This tailored approach for wave energy, complemented by a Marine Energy Accelerator for enabling technologies, will help keep Scotland, and the rest of the UK, in pole position to capitalise on the tremendous opportunity we have in marine energy.”
The next Inverleith Neighbourhood Partnership meeting on 14 June 2013, 1.30pm at Broughton High School will focus on the young people of Inverleith.
Anyone living in Inverleith aged under 18 is invited to send their thoughts on small projects that might improve the neighbourhood for young people, and those present will vote on favourites.
The Neighbourhood Partnership will then look at ways of finding the resources or funding to make it happen!
Send your ideas and go along on the day to cast your vote.
The day will also include entertainment from pupils and information stalls
For more information and to download the form please visit: http://www.edinburghnp.org.uk/neighbourhood-partnerships/inverleith/
Andrew Kerr, local historian and author invites you to Explore Stockbridge this evening at 7:00pm through favourite images, photographs and maps of this historic and visually stunning area. Followed by a Walking Tour Saturday 25th May, 11.00am (meet at the library -numbers limited). To book a place for either event call 0131 529 5665
Alba Innovation Centre is in Livingston and next week on Thursday 30 May 2013 it opens its doors to clients and virtual clients for the first time to Scotland’s Business and Technology Community.
“Come along and meet Scotland’s leading technology entrepreneurs and find out about their new innovations and see their technologies. Open Doors will consist of morning presentations where we will look at trends and developments within the technology sector, a full-day exhibition where you will have the opportunity to meet clients of Alba Innovation Centre and the Alba Incubation Service and an afternoon of demonstrations where you can see first-hand how these new innovations and new technologies work.”
Tickets are free and available here.
Our photo today shows artist, Damian Callan, working on his mural called The Marathon which was installed yesterday in the departure lounge at Edinburgh Airport. He is being closely watched by Rory who happened to be travelling with his family. It is just by Gate 7, and Damian will be adding faces to the installation over the coming weekend when marathon runners are expected to pass through the airport to take part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival. If you are using the airport he will happily add you to his magnum opus!
We also interviewed him about the work:-
It is with great regret that we note the Blue Moon Cafe on the corner of Broughton Street and Barony Street has closed its doors. The word on the street is that the premises will be split in two and may become a chippy and a Thai restaurant. The Edinburgh Reporter has fond memories of the chilli served at the Blue Moon, and we are sad to witness the demise of another Edinburgh institution.
Council Leader Andrew Burns has decided to take up a bet he and his father made some time ago, and he will be entering for the Edinburgh Marathon next year. He will be raising money for Venture Scotland and has promised to keep a blipfoto diary for the whole year when he is training from May 2013 through to late May 2014, where he will record his running and fundraising … you can see that here.
Councillor Burns said:-”I now promise to keep all-things fundraising on the blipfoto diary, and via twitter, and the blog will promptly return to much more important matters, such as the shocking progress with my Allotment-crops this year ” And of course, being a man of many talents, he will also lead the Capital Coalition as it heads towards 2014 when the trams will be on the streets.
Police Scotland have confirmed that a missing Edinburgh man has been found safe and well.
Kristian Wilson was last seen in the Hutchison area on 23 April 2013, but had failed to make contact with friends or family since.
Enquiries revealed yesterday that the 39-year-old was in the North Berwick area and he returned to the Capital on Tuesday evening.