Urban Animation has been working with The Mart, East Linton, for a number of years. The once vacant site is becoming a hub of activity, enterprise and employment, providing a range of services for the village and its surround area.
Investment and grant assistance has brought the unusual Mart building back into active use, after years of decay on the Buildings at Risk Register. This Listed Building has been restored to the highest standard and is again a valued asset to the Mart site and East Lothian. It operates as a flexible space accommodating a diverse range of new uses and activities, including use a film set for the Outlander TV series.
A farm shop and cafe also operate from the site and there have been regular farmers markets. With closure of the local Post Office a few years ago, East Linton was threatened with the loss of this vital service. However, it has been possible to relocate the Post Office at the Mart site, just a short stroll from the village centre.
Part of the site is dedicated to start-up workspace, housed in reused portable buildings and containers. A range of local businesses now operate from these premises and expansion is ongoing.
There are plans to add more space for new enterprises and extend the range of activities taking place at the site. It has added enormous value to life in East Linton already and will continue to do so as the site is developed to capacity.
The project has relied on exceptionally hard work by a team of dedicated people. A creative approach to the development of activity on the site has been essential. The flexibility shown by East Lothian Council as planning authority has also been crucial.
The Mart is an excellent example of ground up regeneration, bringing mixed use enterprise and activity to a community, like many others, threatened with a loss of local services.