Edinburgh Today

Leith Museum


For several  years, there have been demands for a Museum to be opened in Leith to celebrate Leith's history.  Mark Lazarowicz, MP for North Edinburgh and Leith issued an e-mail on October 11, 2007, setting out the latest position.  i.e.

1.  His petition, campaigning for a Leith Museum is to go before the Scottish Parliament on November 6,  2007.

2.  Forth Ports PLC has announced that there might be space for some type of museum in their proposed redevelopment of Leith Docks.  See below..

e-mail from Mark Lazarowics:  October 11, 2007

Forth Ports' Masterplan

Forth Ports have revealed their 30-year masterplan to regenerate Leith.  They  say that there will be space for a museum, and that they intend to provide for this in the the outline planning application.

Margaret Moffat, secretary of Leith Links Community Council said:

"This isn't a new idea.  It's been doing the rounds since the 1970s and several people have come and gone saying that they wanted to create a Leith Museum.

But the campaign seems to be getting somewhere and this is good news.  There are a lot of artefacts with nowhere to go."

Mark Lazarowicz, local MP who led the campaign for a Leith Museum, , said:

"Any new museum would be expected to celebrate landmark occasions in Leith over the years including

- The visit of Queen Mary of Scots in 1561

- The attempted attack by the American navy during the War of Independence in 1779

-  The Siege of Leith from 1559-1560

-  Leith's controversial merger with Edinburgh in 1920."

Edinburgh Evening News:  September 7, 2007


Update:  October 2007

Custom House

The Customs House building on Commercial Street, close to the Water of Leith and Leith Docks, owned by the National Museums of Scotland has emerged as the front-runner for the proposed Museum of Leith.

The building is currently used by the museum for storage, but is expected to be surplus to requirements once new storage facilities become available at Granton.  It is proposed that the new centre at Granton will hold collections from the National Museums of Scotland, National Archives of Scotland, the National Library and the Royal Commission.

Edinburgh Evening News:  October 4, 2007: p.27


Update:  January 2008

Support for the Museum

Tom Farmer has announced that he supports plans to create a  Museum of Leith at the Leith Custom House.

The Scottish Parliament, as part of its consideration of a partition supporting the Museum, has asked for the views of various organisations.  The Scottish Museums Council and City of Edinburgh Council have both responded speaking in support of a Museum of Leith.

Campaign for a Leith Museum web site:  January 13 + 16, 2008


Update:  February 2008

Petition in favour of the Museum

The Scottish Parliament's Public Petitions Committee considered the petition for a Museum of Leith, signed by 3,072  people, at its meeting on February 19, 2008.  It has agreed to:

-  ask the City of Edinbrugh Council what practical and financial support it can and will give.

- ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to encourage applications and provide practical assistance  - e.g. grants.

-  ask Scottish Enterprise for an update on the current Waterfront Visitor Destination Plan.

Campaign for a Leith Museum web site:  February 19, 2008
AND e-mail from Mark Lazarowics, February 21, 2008


Update:  April 2008

Sir Tom Farmer to become Patron

The Leith businessman and owner of Hibs Football Club, Sir Tom Farmer, has agreed to become Patron of  the campaign for a Leith Museum.  He said:

"I am delighted to give my support to the campaign to establish a Museum for Leith.  The history of Leith is also central to the history of Edinbrugh and of Scotland, and deserves a home where its story can be old

"As someone who has benefited from being born and brought up in Leith, I welcome the widespread support for the current campaign.  I hope that local and national government will work with the local community to make the dream of a Leith museum a reality."

Edinburgh Evening News:  April 21, 20008, p10
 AND e-mail from Mark Lazarowics, April 23, 2008

 Mark Lazarowics is MP for Edinburgh North & Leith,
and is Chairman of the Leith Museum Campaign.


Update:  April 2009

Thank you to Mark Lazarowicz for providing this update.

Mark wrote:

Custom House

"The proposals, which depend on agreement from the current owners of the Custom House building, are for a venue that has a historical focus, but would also include material and organise educational and outreach activities that demonstrate the current international links of Leith and Edinburgh.

Exhibition Gallery
Community Centre

The aim would be for a venue which would be 'part museum, part exhibition gallery, part education and community centre', which would also include some commercial activities aimed both at contributing to the running costs of the building but also add to the vibrancy in and around the building.

Detailed proposals for the Custom House were launched last week.  A good report about the launch meeting appeared in The Scotsman."

Mark Lazarowics, MP for Edinburgh North & Leith,, April 22,  2009


More Recent History

Please click here to read of more recent history in the campaign to create a Museum of Leith.



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