Wester Hailes

Wester Hailes and Corstorphine Hill
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Wester Hailes and Corstorphine Hill

A large public housing estate of SW Edinburgh, Wester Hailes lies just within the line of the A720 Edinburgh Bypass, 4 miles (6.5 km) from the city centre. Following a hard-fought public inquiry, 120 ha / 297 acres of agricultural land given over to development and the architectural practice of Sir Frank Mears & Partners appointed to undertake the designs. Building began in 1967 at Drumbryden to the northeast of the area. However by 1974, Wester Hailes was identified as an area of social deprivation and it became notable for its social problems. During the 1980s, various community self-help, youth, social, housing, investment and enterprise initiatives opened. But in 1988, Wester Hailes was recognised by the government as one of four areas in Scotland which needed urgent investment and redevelopment. In the mid-1990s, high-rise blocks were demolished and the Westside Plaza was redeveloped.

The Wester Hailes Festival Association ran a programme of local events between 1979 and 1987, while Wester Hailes Arts for Leisure and Education (WHALE) was formed in 1992. In the late 1990s work began to restore the route of the Union Canal a section of which had been filled in when the estate was built.

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