Former Leith bingo hall set for transformative redevelopment into student homes

Historic bingo hall, Club 3000, on Manderston Street in Leith, Edinburgh.

Plans to revitalise the historic bingo hall on Manderston Street in Leith, Edinburgh, are underway, and public input is sought for the proposed transformation into student accommodations. 

DEVELOPER Longstone (2) Limited aims to conserve and redevelop the site, responding to the community’s desire to preserve the building, situated in the Leith Conservation Area. The decision follows Club 3000’s plan to relocate to Ocean Terminal in the summer of 2024. The proposed student homes aim to address the pressing shortage of student accommodations in the capital and comply with the Council’s policies, contributing to the Conservation Area’s enhancement. The public consultation event is scheduled for January 17, 2024, at McDonald Road Library.

The decision to convert the bingo hall into student housing aligns with local aspirations to preserve the building’s heritage while meeting the increasing demand for accommodation. The shift also reflects the changing landscape, with Club 3000 relocating to Ocean Terminal. While exploring potential uses for the site, residential conversion faced obstacles due to planning policies, making student homes an optimal choice.

The proposed redevelopment responds to concerns about the building’s poor condition and energy inefficiency. Historic Environment Scotland determined that the structure lacked the criteria for special architectural or historic interest, paving the way for transformative plans. Longstone (2) Limited envisions a high-quality development that not only meets the Council’s student housing policies but also contributes to the economic and cultural vitality of the area.

The public consultation event on January 17, 2024, provides an opportunity for community engagement. McDonald Road Library will host the event, featuring exhibition boards detailing the project. Attendees can access project information on the website and are encouraged to share their views through feedback forms, available at the event and online until January 31, 2024.

A spokesperson for Longstone (2) Limited emphasised the community-driven approach, stating, “The local community has expressed a strong desire to conserve the former mill building, and our plans for the site allow us to do this. While enhancing the character of the Conservation Area, the conversion of the building will help to relieve pressure on the local housing market. The proposals will also deliver considerable economic benefits.”

The public consultation represents a collaborative effort, inviting local residents to participate and contribute to the development’s progression.

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