Edinburgh: Leith swing bridge ‘beer garden’ plan

A PUB and port are bidding to bring a historic bridge in the Scottish capital into use as a walkway link and seating space.

Forth Ports, in conjunction with Teuchters Landing, has submitted plans to the City of Edinburgh Council for the refurbishment of the Category A-Listed Rennie’s Isle Swing Bridge at the Water of Leith, “in an effort to conserve the landmark and bring the bridge back into use for the community”.

The proposed programme of repair and refurbishment for the bridge in Leith will ensure its structural integrity for the future, preserve its appearance and make it accessible for the community as a walkway.

It is claimed the works will also create the opportunity for part of the bridge area to be utilised as an outdoor seating space as part of the Teuchter’s Landing public house located in Dock Place. An application for change of use has been submitted to CEC for this purpose.


The swing bridge, named after the prominent Scottish engineer John Rennie, was constructed around 1800 as part of the design of Leith docks.

Along with the nearby Victoria Swing Bridge – whose full refurbishment is already under way – these bridges were a key part of Rennie’s design of the docks in the 1800s.

The proposed refurbishment works for Rennie’s Isle Bridge includes replacement of the timber structure, redecoration, installation of bollards, removal of trolley rails and installation of metal detail, installation of protective mesh and new timber blocks below existing railing uprights.

Charles Hammond, group chief executive at Forth Ports, said: “The swing bridges in Leith are historical landmarks in the area and we are pleased to be able to submit plans to preserve Rennie’s Isle Bridge for the future. There is a great opportunity to create not only a usable walkway but also to create an attractive outdoor space at Teuchter’s Landing.”

John Tindal, director of Teuchters (Edinburgh) LTD, said: “We are very excited to bring the bridge back to its former glory, working closely with Forth Ports, allowing 24-hour access to the bridge which will be of huge relief to the local community and allowing us to utilise the bridge with very attractive and unique additional seating to our outdoor area with table service.”

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