Building development

Ambitious redevelopment plans 

As part of the ongoing regeneration programme around MacMillan Square, North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) has now been granted full community ownership in a community asset transfer from the City of Edinburgh Council, with the additional transfer of a plot of land to the north of the organisation’s venue. We are now working in partnership with the Council to create plans for an extended creative and community hub for the area, to be named the MacMillan Hub. 

The objective is to create a community and neighbourhood hub promoting culture, learning, work and well-being in and around the town centre. Everyone at NEA is excited about the possibilities this will bring to our community.

NEA receives £2million from Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund 

North Edinburgh Arts was awarded £2million in December 2021 as part of the MacMillan Hub partnership project with the City of Edinburgh Council, joining regeneration projects in some of Scotland’s more disadvantaged and rural communities to share more than £25 million of funding. The Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund will support 22 locally developed place-based projects that tackle inequalities and promote sustainable and inclusive economic recovery from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lesley Hinds, NEA Chair, said:

‘North Edinburgh Arts is a multi-award winning project with strong community support and we are thrilled to be awarded funding from the Scottish Government. This funding means NEA can move forward with the MacMillan Hub project, in partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, to provide much needed space and services for the local area.

NEA recently finalised a Community Asset Transfer which brings the NEA building, land and garden into community ownership and allows for the expansion of our work, essential now more than ever, as we recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. We now look forward to securing the additional resources needed to build on this important award. I want to give my thanks to the NEA Board, staff, officers at the City of Edinburgh Council, Richard Murphy Architects and, most importantly, the community of North Edinburgh for their continued support’.

Planning application approved

The planning application has been approved for the full MacMillan Hub building which will join the refurbished and expanded North Edinburgh Arts venue. Together, through this development, NEA and the City of Edinburgh Council will provide

  • enterprise, workshop, learning and creative studio space
  • an expanded café, youth area and shared atrium
  • new library and skills centre
  • new early years centre supporting 185 local children
  • new affordable homes including outdoor amenity space

This innovative partnership project between North Edinburgh Arts and the Council will provide key Council services whilst keeping NEA at the centre of a creative, connected and inspired community, with our building expanded and fit for purpose for the next generation of North Edinburgh residents. The images provided above give an overview of the planned MacMillan Hub development, and this is the letter circulated to local residents in October with details for the demolition Resident Letter 061021.1. Below is a fly through animation of the MacMillan Hub, showing the outside views and inside:

For more information please use this link to the Planning portal or search using reference 21/02923/AMC

NEA is already a well loved destination for locals but has outgrown its building. To meet the needs for future generations we need to redevelop as part of this new Hub. To find out more about our plans view the ​film​ below.  We are fundraising for this redevelopment, to get involved contact usor make a donation.

The plans ensure the accessible, welcoming and much needed community space, using environment-friendly build and innovative design techniques. The community space will reflect current aspirations, whilst being flexible enough to respond to unplanned future demand.

Award winning Richard Murphy Architects were appointed by Robertsons Construction, with the Council and NEA, to design the MacMillan Hub. Working together we aim to start this innovative and ambitious build early in 2022, to complete and open in the summer of 2023.

For further information please contact Kate Wimpress, NEA, or Nick Cairns, City of Edinburgh Council,

Other useful links about our story, Community Asset Transfer and plans:

Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund-Press Release-Dec2021

North Edinburgh Arts secures Scottish Land Funs-Press Release

NEA to become a community owned hub-Press Release

NEA Business Plan 2020 – Community Enterprise