Transport Scotland, via the Sustrans Community Links Fund, has awarded ELGT £300,000 towards the design and implementation of a new high-quality walking and cycling route through what will become Little France Park – currently under development.
Running through the new park, behind the Bioquarter and the Royal Infirmary, the new route will link the new and proposed housing developments in the south east of the city and beyond to the city centre and Craigmillar. It will hopefully become a core cycling and walking route, linking the new neighbourhoods as they come on stream to existing residential and employment areas as well as the new Shawfair railway station on the Borders rail line.
The parkland is a key piece of green infrastructure for the city and region and a crucial regeneration tool linking local communities – including Craigmillar, Greendykes and Niddrie to employment opportunities. A feasibility and implementation study of the parkland was completed in 2013 which proposed four key character areas. This project will deliver the first phase of the parkland by introducing links to encourage the use of the area for informal sports and events and formalising existing paths in order to link with housing developments, a proposed new town centre in Craigmillar, a new cycling facility proposed adjacent to the Jack Kane Centre, employment prospects at the Royal Infirmary and the Edinburgh BioQuarter, medical facilities and the existing school.
The proposed Parkland will also connect and realign disjointed existing paths. This is a great opportunity to create a new landscape setting for the city providing opportunities for outdoor recreation which brings social and health benefits to this area. The parkland will be an important part of the green network, providing a focus for local and sub-regional leisure and amenity, improved connectivity and enhanced biodiversity.