Water of Leith Initiative - Closing Statement

Our charitable company, Dean Valley Regeneration Limited, was incorporated in September 2015, and since then we have been working steadily towards making an application to the National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly the Heritage Lottery Fund). With an estimated project cost of over £1.9m, Lottery Fund support would always have been essential, and it was always intended that the City of Edinburgh Council would make the application and carry the project forward. We have worked closely with the Council to that end, and our formal Expression of Interest was submitted to the Fund by the Council in December. The response from the Fund was encouraging, but clearly there would be much more to do before an application could be expected to succeed.

In the meantime, it was made very clear at a meeting with the Council on 2nd March that the project, while desirable, was not on their list of priorities and was unlikely to be so for the foreseeable future.

Clearly, further fundraising by the Trustees would not be appropriate, and in the meantime recurring annual expenses would soon exhaust the funds in hand. Accordingly, the Trustees decided in March to wind up the Trust and, with the approval of OSCR, the charity regulator, that decision took effect on 31st May. The company has been removed from the Companies Register and the remaining small reserve of funds has been transferred to Edinburgh World Heritage.

We are proud of what we have achieved, and we have been warmly thanked by the Council, their response adding: “We now have substantial evidence of the need for investment in and improvement of the Dean Valley, as well as detailed information on how to go about this and how much funding is required to enable action”.

Our publications, a Conservation Statement (2015), a Biodiversity Report (2016), a First Phase Feasibility Study (2017) and a Second Phase Feasibility Study (2018), both with detailed cost proposals, are widely available.

The website has been taken over by the Dean Village Association.

Finally, we are very grateful to all who have supported us over the years. Much has been done, and much more may be done in the future.