Dean Village
St. Marks
The Port
The purpose of the Millennium Fund is to enable dreams to be realised. The completion of a walking and cycling route along the river from Balerno to Leith has been a goal for many years.
Individuals, community groups and various statutory bodies have all played a part in raising awareness of the river and also improving its immediate environment. There have been annual clean-ups, new sections of the Walkway built and some delightful cast iron signs produced.
Now there is a real possibility that not only the basic dream of a completed walkway can be realised, but also a whole range of related benefits can be achieved in the next few years.
The very process of this bid has energised a large number of people. It has also enabled a "strategic overview" to be taken. Groups are often unaware of each other's existence and not always conscious of areas of overlap or mutual interest.
In spite of potential conflicts between, for instance, walkers, cyclists and horse riders there has been remarkable agreement and enthusiasm for the overall project. Inevitably there are local concerns over details such as precise routes, path surfacing, lighting etc., but these are issues that will be resolved in consultation with local people.
It is a key aim of this bid that it should result in real social benefits. It is obviously important that the project runs smoothly with the maximum value for money. However the opportunity must be taken to consider long term benefits for those working on the project
and also the wider community.
There is considerable interest in the idea of "sustainability". Other Millennium projects such as the Millennium Forest and Sustrans' cycle paths have it as a core purpose. There are no simple answers to the complex and interlinked questions of resources, energy use, conservation, development etc. Increasing concern over the balance between leisure and unemployment is likely to become much more prominent in the next few years.
It is therefore vital that thought is given to the recruitment and training of a workforce for the duration of the project and also to developing opportunities when the project is completed. These will be in maintenance and also in commercial and semi-commercial businesses related to activities spawned by the Millennium process.
Other sustainability issues are addressed by some of the futuristic plans drawn up by Forth Ports. We support their aims and have included some aspects in this bid for joint funding.
This bid represents a great many diverse interests that have been brought together to create a truly exciting plan. This in itself is almost enough to be worth celebrating in the new Millennium. But the actual implementation of the plan will have immense benefits for all those involved and a long lasting bonus for millions of people who will visit the Water of Leith in centuries to come.
To enhance and develop Edinburgh's river as a green corridor of amenity, wildlife and educational value for the enjoyment of local communities and visitors to the city.
- Completion and upgrading of the Walkway from Balerno to Leith
- Restoration and interpretation of the river's industrial heritage
- Improvement and creation of wildlife habitats
- Involvement of local communities in projects to celebrate the Millennium
- Creation of training opportunities and jobs
- Creation of play and other recreational facilities along the route

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