The Tram Sheds open to the public after seven years of construction

23/10/2023
Representatives from Places for People officially unveil the Tram Sheds.Left to Righ: Roger Tulloch, Senior Project Manager; Allison Sutherland, Regional Sales and Marketing Director; Roddy Macdonald, Managing Director, Scotland Developments and Colin Jack, Regional Production Director.

FOLLOWING seven years of construction the final phase of Places for People’s, The Engine Yard is now open. 

The iconic, former tram depot located in Leith, Edinburgh, originally opened in 1898 as the Shrubhill Tramway Workshops and Power Station, the workshops were where Edinburgh’s trams were built and maintained. 

However, following the demise of the cable-hauled trams in 1923 and, three decades later, the electric ones that followed, Shrubhill Works’ fate was effectively sealed. In November 1956, the last tram service terminated at the depot, which was briefly repurposed as a bus depot, a museum and finally a Fringe venue before a leaking roof caused it to be abandoned completely, leaving the site to run into disrepair.

In 2020 LDN Architects with Places for People put forward an imaginative plan for the former brownfield site to deliver a desirable, mixed-tenure community that would not only recognise the history of the site but act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the local area.

Roddy MacDonald, Places for People Regional Managing Director of Developments, Scotland, commented: “The Tram Sheds represents a tremendous feat for Places for People as a housebuilder. The restoration of the historic tram depot into 43 modern luxury apartments has taken years of careful consideration, consultation and planning. I am delighted with the finished product and I’m sure our purchasers will be too.

“With our strong and diverse experience in buying, planning and building award-winning developments – and with the completion of The Engine Yard’s final, impressive phase – we’ve delivered something truly distinctive just a stone’s throw away from Edinburgh’s bustling city centre.

“It’s wonderful to witness this thriving community now come to life with a hive of creativity and cultural diversity packed with eclectic shops, bars and restaurants, just a short walk from the city centre – fast become one of Edinburgh’s most exciting new places to live.”

LDN Architect’s Partner in Charge Ángel Morales-Aguilar, comments on the intricate – yet ultimately rewarding process – of keeping this iconic piece of Edinburgh’s industrial heritage alive.

For us, the main challenge lay in effectively integrating the new buildings within the existing ones. Essential fabric repair work was required to make the buildings structurally sound while ensuring that their unique character was retained. From a purely practical perspective, gaining access to and working around the existing site presented a whole new challenge of its own.”

“But the result is phenomenal,” he goes on. “Being able to save these two industrial gems – the Big Shed and the Wee Shed – is rewarding enough in itself, but introducing a new dimension to the space through the central courtyard and upper levels has been my favourite part. Until now, no one has been able to experience The Tram Sheds like this.”

The latest addition to the Engine Yard development sees a collection of forty-three high-specification one, two and three-bedroom homes, built into the original structure, and bringing a fusion of old and new style against an aging architecture.

The mix of apartments and duplexes offers unique urban living within a charming, historic setting. Each spacious home encompasses a contemporary, open-plan design, with the ultra-modern industrial theme marrying happily with the traditional character of the past. Beautiful arched and oval windows offer stunning views of Edinburgh and beyond.

The heritage-led design continues into the outer spaces while the historical octagonal brick chimney – visible from Leith Walk – provides a magnificent focal point. There’s even an underground car park.

Prices for homes at the Engine Yard start at 267,500. For further information about the development please visit: The Engine Yard | New homes in Edinburgh City Centre | Places for People

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