The former headquarters of the North British Rubber Company, birthplace of the Wellington boot, the modern motor car tyre, and the first ever traffic cone, is to be saved from demolition.
The site will be transformed into a world-class visual arts centre and creative hub thanks to over £6million National Lottery funding through The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Creative Scotland announced today. 

The HLF is investing £4,994,000 and Creative Scotland has confirmed a further £1,728,075 awarded to Edinburgh Printmakers towards the transformation of the historic former North British Rubber Factory HQ into a new centre for printmaking and creative industries.

The HLF grant is inclusive of a first stage award of £500,000 already received by the visual arts charity to develop the project and engage the community with the vast local heritage through creative activities. 

The funding from Creative Scotland is in addition to an initial stage one capital funding award committed in 2012 of £60,000 to enable Edinburgh Printmakers to develop their proposal. The funding from Creative Scotland will support artistic excellence and engage audiences in diverse and inclusive exhibitions and education.

The project proposed by Edinburgh Printmakers will save a 19th-century category C listed building of significant architectural and historical value in the West of Edinburgh city centre from decay and eventual demolition.

Once part of a vast industrial complex manufacturing goods such as rubber boots, hot water bottles and the car tyre, the Castle Mill Works building is now the only remaining physical reminder of what was once a world-renowned rubber factory that, for many years, was at the forefront of innovation and integral to the expansion of the city.

Heritage minister Tracey Crouch said: “This Heritage Lottery Funding is fantastic news for Edinburgh – these funds will protect a building that is at the very heart of Edinburgh’s industrial heritage while also providing an exciting arts centre to support the city’s booming cultural scene. Drawing in hundreds of visitors from near and far, regeneration projects like this one do so much to support the local economy and give the community a real sense of pride. I look forward to seeing this centre go from strength to strength and become an integral part of Edinburgh’s cultural scene.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs said: “Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland to preserve the building, and Creative Scotland’s investment in setting up the new arts centre, Castle Mill Works will be an exciting addition to Scotland and Edinburgh’s cultural scene.
“The money raised through lottery contributions will be used to get this important project off the ground. Edinburgh Printmakers will transform this historic building and in its new form it will deliver a new home for Scottish printmakers and help shape the future of our country, as well as preserve its past.”

In August, Historic Scotland (Now Historic Environment Scotland) announced that they would be awarding £500k of grant funding to the project in order to restore this important part of Edinburgh’s built heritage

Commenting from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Dame Seona Reid, Deputy Chair of HLF and Chair of Committee for Scotland, said: “We are delighted, that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are able to unlock the potential of this much-loved building. Not only will it provide a thriving cultural centre benefitting many hundreds of national and international artists but it will breathe life back into Foutainbridge. The community is justly proud of its industrial heritage so it is fitting that Castle Mill Works, which once supported so many families, will be the catalyst in its regeneration.”


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