VA Tech

Engineering Warehouse

Bath Road  -  at the eastern end of Leith Docks


VA Tech

Engineering Warehouse

   VA Tech Base  -  a former engineering workhouse in the south east corner of Leith Docks

View from Bath Road

VA Tech Base  -  a former engineering workhouse in the south east corner of Leith Docks

View from Bath Road

VA Tech Base  -  a former engineering workhouse in the south east corner of Leith Docks

View from Seafield


Future use of the VA Tech Building

Factory Closed

The factory that occupied the VA Tech Building closed in 2004 with the loss of 225 jobs? 

What is the future for this building?

A New Culture Centre?

Is this building to be Leith's answer to Tate Modern in London?

The Edinburgh Evening News reported, in December  2005, that the Scottish Executive may well be about to back a proposal to house the 100m art collection on Anthony d'Offay in the VA Tech Building, described in recent press articles as "the big blue box"

This collection is made up of 700 works of art, including work by Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha.

This building may also be used to house parts of the archives of the National Library of Scotland and the Royal Commission on Ancient & Historic Monuments in Scotland.

Not a Scottish National Photographic Centre

There had previously been some speculation that the Scottish Executive might be keen to see the Scottish National Photographic Center housed in this building, but this has now been ruled out. 

Following a request from the Scottish Executive, the promoters of the Scottish National Photographic Centre, SNPC Ltd., are looking at alternative sites for their centre,  but on the evidence to date, they still favour the former Royal High School building in Regent Road.

Announcement expected

An official announcement on the future of the VA Tech Building is expected to be made by the Culture Minister in late 2005 or early 2006

Edinburgh Evening News: December 12, 2005, p.3


VA Building


June 2006

Art Collection Plan Abandoned

Plans to house Anthony d' Offay's 100m collection of 700 items of modern art in the VA Building ('The Big Blue Shed') at Leith have been shelved.

Instead, Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell is believed to favour extending the National Gallery of Modern Art in Belford Road.

Edinburgh Evening News: June 20, 2006, p.7


VA Building


September 2010


The building is now used by Pelamis, a company that builds wave energy converters.

Scotland's First Minister, Alex Salmond, officially launched a new P2 Pelamis wave converter in Leith on May 18, 2010.  The 180 metre long 750kw device, weighing 1,500 tonnes, is to be tested in Orkney.

Fish News web site:  May 19, 2010




VA Tech  is a large engineering warehouse located in the south east corner of Leith Docks.  

Part of the land on which it is built has been reclaimed from Edinburgh Dock.  I have added it in red to the 1925 map below.

Map  -  1925

1925 mag  -  South East corner of Leith Docks

  For permission to reproduce please contact      Extract from a map in the Post Office Directory, 1925-26



Aerial Photo

The area covered by this map appears in the lower right corner of the aerial photograph below.  Look on the aerial photograph to find:

-  Albert dock (same shape as on the map).

-  Edinburgh Dock (shape changed as most of the eastern part now reclaimed).

VA Tech Warehouse is the building with the dark-blue and light-blue roof, close to the bottom right-hand corner of the photo below. 

Aerial Photo  -  2001

2001 Aerial View of Leith Docks

  Copyright: XYZ Digital Map Company Limited Click here for details of web site.

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Aerial Photo

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Bath Road


The entrance to the VA Tech warehouse is at the north end of  Bath Road, beside the entrance to Leith Docks.

North end of Bath Road

   VA Tech Base  -  a former engineering workhouse in the south east corner of Leith Docks

Here is a view looking to the south down Bath Road past a snack van towards Salamander Street:

South end of Bath Road

   A snack bar in Bath Road close to the entrance to Leith Docks.  This view looks towards Salamander Street  -  31 October 2005


Suggested use for

VA Tech

Scottish Photographic Centre

Members of SNPC Ltd have been working towards establishing a Scottish National Photography Centre in the former Royal High School at Calton Hill, near the centre of Edinburgh.

Royal High School

    Photograph by Peter Stubbs  -  Edinburgh  -  23 November 2002  -  The Royal High School  -  Tour of the Site

They, and others associated with this project,  expressed concern in November 2005 on hearing that Scotland's First Minister, Jack McConnell, and his Scottish Executive may favour the centre being located a the former VE Tech Engineering Warehouse at Leith Docks, rather than in the former Royal High School.