Building Futures


Leith Fort is a development located just north of Edinburgh city centre comprising a total of 94 homes.

Available in a mix of social (32) and mid-market rent (62), the project was delivered on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council and Port of Leith Housing Association respectively upon the 1.7ha site was once home to the historic 18th Century Leith Fort and prior to demolition, a seven-storey tower block contained within the confines of the Grade B Listed stone military fort boundary wall.

The masterplan is made up of seven, three-storey blocks of terraces that reinterpret the traditional ‘colony’ housing, a social housing typology found in many neighbourhoods across Edinburgh.

Commonly this would comprise a ground floor single-storey flat, and a 2-storey duplex apartment located directly above, providing a strong mix of housing with each flat having its own front door and its own private south facing garden. This mix of apartments is found throughout the development, including 4 fully accessible ground-level flats, as well as 2 townhouses.

When previously occupying the site, the Fort House tower block was isolated from the surrounding communities due to the building form and the full retention of the Leith Fort Wall. The new development was designed to create a stronger community feeling; enabled by newly created cycle and pedestrian routes leading to a community green at the centre of the site where the ‘Living Street Concept’ is adopted with reduced vehicle use.

A mix of traditional blockwork (ground floor) and CCG’s iQ Timber System (first and second floors) was used for the build with an estimated programme saving of 60 weeks as a result of offsite construction methods.

Job and training opportunities were also provided as a result of the project:

  • The employment of six new entrants. Each entrant lives within 5 miles of the site.
  • Various work placements were offered to young people including Lewis Wright who undertook an 18-week placement through Training Opportunities in Leith (TOiL). After successfully undertaking this placement, Lewis was inducted into CCG’s apprenticeship programme in 2016 as a joiner. All of the young people who undertook work placements were from Edinburgh with six living within 7 miles of the development site.

Other community benefit initiatives included curriculum support in the form of factory and site tours giving site tours; donating to Edinburgh Sick Kids Christmas Appeal 2016, which included £50 worth of toys, and donating toward Port of Leith HA’s Gala Days for 2016 and 2017.

The City of Edinburgh Council and Port of Leith Housing Association

Contract Value:
£12.7 million


  • Homes for Scotland Large Affordable Housing Project of the Year 2018
  • Herald Property Awards Affordable Housing Project of the Year 2018
  • Edinburgh Architectural Association Award 2018
  • Scottish Design Award for Affordable Housing 2018
  • Saltire Society Housing & Design Multi-Dwelling Award 2018
  • Saltire Society Housing & Design ‘Medal’ 2018
  • RIAS 2018
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