Images have been released of plans for a brand new retail and leisure quarter centred around a row of Victorian arches in Edinburgh’s old town.
The C-listed brickwork arches were originally constructed in 1875 to create double-fronted openings beneath the city’s Jeffrey Street.
It was one of several Victorian ‘bridge streets’ in the area designed to create more light and development space in a bid to improve overcrowding and poverty along the Royal Mile.
Due to the expansion of the railway terminus at Waverley Station in the second half of the 19th century, the Jeffrey Street ‘bridge’ was never completed – resulting in one side of each of the 19 arches remaining exposed.
Now the arches will be part of the the £150 million New Waverley development.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to create a completely new kind of retail and leisure experience, right in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town,” explains Clive Wilding, from Artisan Real Estate Investors, the developers behind project.
“The arches were traditionally used for storage areas and have never been accessible to the public – so it’s an amazing opportunity to open up an historic part of the city that has never been seen before.”
He added: “The arches will bring an interesting and vibrant new dimension to our New Waverley development, which is now progressing on all fronts.
“We are now speaking to a wide range of potential occupiers but want to see them converted into bars, cafes, restaurants and independent niche retailers – as well as providing distinctive venues for arts events and food markets.
“This will bring tremendous energy to the area, linking closely to both the Royal Mile and the new public square which lies at the heart of the development.”