Leith Walk Policebox Pop Up Space
The Edinburgh police boxes are unique in that they were designed by the city architect Ebenezer McRae to complement the city’s neoclassical architecture. Dating from the 1930s, they are made from cast iron and weigh 2.2 tonnes. They were used by Edinburgh City Police for telecommunications as that was an era when telephones were not commonplace and police officers did not have personal radios.
They soon became hubs of community policing with officers working their shifts from the boxes and members of the public going to their local box to speak face to face with their beat bobby. With the widespread introduction of home phones and police radios and changes in police practices, the boxes became redundant.
They started to be sold off in the late 1990s with the vast majority of the 85 surviving boxes in private hands by 2014. They have been repurposed for different uses – mainly coffee or food.
And now – a Pop up space
Croall Place, Edinburgh EH7 4LT
At Leith walk policebox, we don’t do coffee! The box is a pop up space which means we rent it out for short term flexible lets which are affordable. We support a wide variety of community activities, campaigners, entrepreneurs and creatives. As the box is situated on one of the busiest shopping streets in Edinburgh and in a mixed residential area, it has proved an ideal location for campaigning, market research and publicity across a wide demographic.
It’s immensely satisfying when some of our entrepreneurs go on to find permanent premises for their business having tested their business idea at Leith walk policebox. Recent examples are Typewronger books and typewriters now based at Haddington Place and Real Rocky Road who were so taken with their experience, they are now trading from a former policebox at George Square.
Here is a selection of our regular pop ups and if you want to find out more about us get in touch on [email protected] or check out the Facebook page for current pop ups @leithwalkpolicebox All Leith chooses entrants receive a discounted rate.
- Every Saturday morning 1030-1pm Edinburgh Tool Library – pay what you can to join and borrow tools.
- Every last Saturday of the month 1400-1700 – Invisible Edinburgh – a social enterprise employing homeless people as walking tour guides.
- Every Friday afternoon 1230 -1730 – Bambu Living Sustainably – household essentials without the packaging. Bring your own container and cut your plastic use.
Leith Chooses 2018 – Art outside the box Project
In Leith Chooses 2018 people voted for our Art outside the box Project to put original artwork on the outside walls of the box and bring public art to our neighbourhood. Our first two art works are in place thanks to Page Hardie (Police Box no. 1) and Vivienne Kelly (Urban Constellation) both young artists in residence at the Edinburgh Tool Library (ETL). We were assisted by ETL, Firstport, Thornbridge Timber and Print Sponge. The next stage of the Art outside the box Project involves children from Leith Academy and Stafford Centre art group.
We would also like to hold an open competition in 2019 to encourage anyone to submit an artwork to be included in the project. To find out more about this competition please look out for updates on www.leithwalkpolicebox.com
Leith walk policebox