Thursday, July 09, 2020

Saughton Park - the UK's first Eco Powered Park!

What meets the eye in Edinburgh’s beautiful Saughton Park almost has to be seen to be believed but there is a lot more to it than that! It is green in more ways than one!

The completion of this incredible project makes it the UK’s first eco-powered greenspace, proving that modern technology can be introduced to historic public parks. These are both aspects I have been personally involved in and I’m passionate about. The turbine was part of an original idea brought to me over a decade ago by Paul Turner. The idea was to return the weir to its original use with the installation of a water turbine that would power the winter gardens and possibly more. The reality is even better with the max output of 39kw and the addition of two ground source heat exchangers, this more than powers the new renovated park including the new cafe with plenty left over to feed into the grid.  It has been a dream of mine for over a decade and to have it become reality in such an impressive way is just fantastic.

Read the full article here -

Saughton Park - the UK's first Eco Powered Park!

Ground Source Heat Pumps


Now is your chance to participate in an exciting new project and receive a free heat pump!
We're working with Warmworks to deliver the project. Click here to find out more
Funded by Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Heat pumps are a renewable energy source that can provide all the heating and hot water you need for your home and could be the ideal solution if you want to generate your own heat.
Click for Facebook Post

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Great News for Gorgie Dalry!

Following pressure from me at the Policy and Sustainability Committee on the 11th June Gorgie Dalry has been moved up to top priority for Spaces for People. The background to this is that it had been given a low priority in spite of a robust input from the Gorgie Dalry Community Council and myself as the only local member on the Committee. Pressure also from other local members such as Cllr Fullerton and Cllr Dixon and together we have managed to get the priority raised to top with an immediate start date.  See below an extract from the letter that went out...

' Covid-19 Emergency Road  Measures

Proposed– Local Town Centres - Gorgie and Dalry Town Centres

In Edinburgh, shopping and leisure uses are mainly provided in a network of centres distributed across the city. Out with the City Centre, town centres serve as a focal point for local communities providing a diverse mix of shopping facilities and other commercial and community services.

On 18 June the Scottish Government confirmed that, from 29 June, shops with outdoor entrances can reopen. To support this positive change, we are proposing an initial phase of measures targeted to quickly address some of the most pressing issues that people and businesses have told us about. These relate to the narrowness of pavements and street clutter which cause difficulties in achieving safe physical distancing.  

In this first phase of proposals we aim to create additional space on routes within Gorgie and Dalry town centres by widening footways, removing guardrails and street clutter. To widen footways we need to suspend all parking places (apart from loading bays and Disabled persons’ parking places). The streets being considered for these proposals are illustrated in the attached map.   

The second phase of proposals, which we will share in the coming weeks, will focus on more strategic and complex measures relating to traffic reduction  and aiding cycling and public transport provision. Proposals will also align, where possible, with further announcements around the opening of food and drink establishments. We will continue to work with business representatives and individual businesses on how measures can best support town centres as part of the city’s economic recovery. It is essential that the needs of residents and businesses are taken into account as we progress measures benefiting the health, wellbeing and prosperity of the city and region.

The proposed measures  are part of an overall emergency requirement to re-designate key parts of the road network to facilitate safe travel while meeting physical distancing requirements.  Such measures are required urgently to help prevent people from becoming ill or coming to harm by infection from COVID-19 whilst implementing physical distancing requirements.  '

This represents a great victory for the area which those of us a bit longer in the tooth will remember has been an aspiration since the building of the Western Approach Road (when these exact same measures were promised). See map for details....

Saturday, May 02, 2020

Monday, October 14, 2019

One City Trust Projects in Sighthill Gorgie

Good to see some great local projects getting funding from the One City Trust.
The grants come from a contribution to the One City Trust from Engie aas part of their Community Engagement Fund....

'Community Investment Funding 
As part of the community benefits commitments within the North Sighthill contract, Engie have contributed £50,000 for community projects in south west Edinburgh.  
A number of funding awards were made through the Lord Provost’s charity, the One City Trust, and Engie’s contributions have been awarded to the following local groups: 
• AboutYouth – funding for a diverse programme of activities for young people aged between 7yrs – 19yrs, including activity programmes, youth groups and outreach initiatives. Particular focus in the Calders, Wester Hailes and Sighthill. 

• African Connections – funding for arts and entertainment activities and local projects. 

• Space & Broomhouse Hub – funding for a neighbourhood community growing project at Broomhouse Home Farm. 

• Community One Stop Shop – funding for specialist advice post (Advice Plus). 

• South West Edible Estates (SWEE) – funding for a neighbourhood community growing project at Murrayburn/Hailesland. 
Congratulations to all of the above groups who received funding awards. For more information on the One City Trust, please visit '  

I am a great fan of the One City Trust (as Lord Provost I was its President for 5 years) which fights inequality and exclusion in Edinburgh. When I took up the post the Charity had sunk into a position of inactivity not seen since the great days of its creation out of the Lord Provosts Commission on Social Exclusion a decade before. In 2012 I created the  Lord Provosts Rapid Action Fund and set about raising new money for the trust (rather than just spending the interest) . By 2017 , 5 Marathons and a Burns Supper brought the cumulative total well over the 100,000 mark. Add to this contributions like that above from Engie and the OCT is now making a real difference in the City.

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

Call for referrals / volunteers

Received the following ...

Dear Cllr Wilson,

I hope that this finds you well and that you're having a good week.

My name is Georgia Artus and I work for Edinburgh charitable partnership, Vintage Vibes. We tackle isolation in older people in Edinburgh through creating long lasting friendships based on shared interests.

The reason I'm getting in touch is because we've been recruiting for volunteers in the Gorgie over the past couple of months and we currently have more volunteers than isolated older people (over 60s) in the Gorgie area.

In addition, we are about to outreach for volunteers in the Broomhouse/Sighthill area and we anticipate the same situation occurring. 

We're looking to increase the number of referrals we receive surrounding isolated older people in and around the Gorgie/Broomhouse/Sighthill areas.

Would you perhaps be able to help us spread the word that we are currently open for referrals from Gorgie/Broomhouse/Sighthill?

If you need any more information please don't hesitate to let me know. 

Many thanks in advance for any help you can offer.


Georgia Artus

Development Manager - LifeCare / Vintage Vibes

t:  0131 343 0958 | e:  | t: @GeorgiaArtusEd  

Monday, April 01, 2019

Water Turbine for Saughton Park

Just had some great news! We are all set to start on the water turbine. Why am I so pleased? It all started in 2004 when Paul Turner came to me and showed me a report by Garvald that outlined the possibility of a water wheel on the Weir at Saughton Park. I took it to the Council who did their own phoeseability study in 2005 which concluded that there were a number of points on the Water of Leith (including the Weir) where microgeneration was possible. This also included our three reservoirs in the Pentland Hills. Fifteen years, another phoeseability study , a switch from water wheels to water turbines , a successful launch of the Balerno Village trust turbine on Harlaw reservoir, a petition and many , many emails and updates later and it looks like it is finally happening.  I have been an advocate for this project throughout even putting a motion to the full Council to tie it in with the celebration of the Hundred years since the Scottish National Exhibition (two administrations ago). Huge congratulations and thank you to Linda Anglin the Saughton Park Project Manager who has finally got this off the ground.

If all goes according to plan it is expected that work will commence on or just after 22 April and be completed by the end of this year.