Custom House Exterior

Custom House Feasibility Study Released

News > Custom House Feasibility Study Released


Scottish Historic Building Trust (SHBT) has released its feasibility study for Custom House, Leith, recently completed with Richard Murphy Architects. SHBT’s proposal sets out the vision for the building as a mixed-use community and creative hub with opportunities for heritage display, securing the future of this landmark building while making it open, accessible, and sustainable for everyone to enjoy. 

The preferred development option for a £15m capital project will enhance the existing fabric and services to become more energy efficient, using renewable sources where possible. The proposed improvements will create a welcoming and inclusive entrance to Custom House where there will be a series of flexible community and heritage display spaces as well as creative business accommodation, generating income to ensure a sustainable future for the building. 

Custom House The Long Room

Custom House is one of Leith’s most distinctive Georgian buildings and a reflection of the town’s status as Scotland’s premier port for over six centuries. It has the unique potential to become a cultural landmark and focal point that celebrates the heritage of the community of Leith. 

City of Edinburgh Council appointed SHBT in 2015 to carry out a feasibility study exploring options for creating a sustainable future for the building which had been closed to the public for many years and used as a store by the National Museum of Scotland, gradually falling into disrepair. 

Since then, the charity has been working with the community of Leith to develop a shared vision that will secure the long term future of the building within the heart of the community. During that time, SHBT has transformed Custom House into a vibrant creative hub, providing a temporary home for a wide range of artisans and artists to work collaboratively, as well as providing community space for use and a venue for the Leith Market. 

The feasibility study proposals have been informed by a formal community consultation exercise which called for spaces for classes, events, and activities, cultural spaces, rentable work studios, and space for permanent and changing exhibitions linked to the history of Leith. 

Now, SHBT is seeking feedback on its proposed community and creative hub. Let us know what you think of our plans for Custom House, and tell us how you would use the exciting new spaces, by filling in our short survey. 

Keep an eye out on our Events Page for information on visiting the building in person and having a chat with the team about the building’s future.

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