Lady Haig’s Poppy Factory in Canonmills is now closed for two years for refurbishment.
The staff have moved to temporary accommodation at Redford Barracks while the upgrade is tackled. The work will include some health and safety compliance along with asbestos removal and a new fire suppression system.
Members of the public cannot visit their new premises but wreaths and other items can be ordered online.
Mark Bibbey, Chief Executive at Poppyscotland, said: “The redevelopment is much needed and will ensure the long term viability of the Factory and particularly, of course, the supported employment opportunities it provides for disabled veterans.”
Mr Bibbey added: “Throughout the works period, there will be minimal impact to the production of poppies and wreaths. This will continue just as it has for the past 93 years, with a team of 34 veterans with disabilities hand producing more than five million poppies and 15,000 wreaths annually. Our temporary home at Redford is fully operational now that we’ve completed the quite a mammoth logistical challenge of moving our machinery, some of which is over 100 years old.”
This is just the latest chapter in the story of the Poppy Factory, which began life in 1926 at an old wood chopping factory in the grounds of Whitefoord House, on the Royal Mile. Its beginnings were humble, with just “two workers, a pair of scissors and piece of paper” before growing to employ 117 veterans at one point. The Factory moved to its current home in Canonmills in 1965, and has welcomed royalty, celebrities and thousands of visitors since, but the site has been in need of upgrading for some time.