The launch of the West End will take place Saturday 9th November outside Ryan’s Bar at 10am with celebrity guest Carol Smillie.
Carol Smillie has a personal connection with the West End due to co-owning Diary Doll with business partner Annabel Croft. Carol and Annabel understand the difficulties that the West End has faced over the past few years however are optimistic with the re-launch of the West End.
“It’s such an exciting time for the city of Edinburgh finally getting back to some sort of normality, but especially the West End that has been greatly affected by the Tram Works. I’m so pleased to be opening the West End for everyone to start enjoying it again”
For generations, the West End was the place to meet up in Edinburgh. As the tram works clear, as the bus service resume, and as the trams finally arrive in the West End, it is set to return as the place to meet, eat, drink and shop this autumn!
Not only will Carol Smillie be cutting a celebratory tram cake created by Liggy’s cake company but will also unveil new branding for the West End & Haymarket. Music Room will be providing live music and “Music Room” brand clothing at the event from 9:30 – 10:30 and will also provide a PA system with mic for any speeches. West End businesses will be serving bucks fizz to customers and visitors as well as offers and activities in their stores all day on Saturday – making the West End the place to be!
The return of the buses to the area has already seen an improvement in footfall and business in the West End, and many look forward to the reinstatement of the bus services on Shandwick Place this weekend. Local businesses are working on exciting plans to re-launch the area in the coming weeks, with events and activities that are designed to draw in and hold visitors and shoppers. After 21 months of works West End businesses are looking forward to a more positive autumn and winter – many of the bars and restaurants in the West End are launching their Christmas menus – including The Melville Bar, Ryan’s Bar and The Huxley. Fashion boutiques such as Odyssey, Sam Brown and Frontiers have strong Autumn/Winter 2013 collections on show right now. Home and gift stores such as Paper Tiger and Studio One have beautiful Christmas gifts, cards, wrap and decorations, and the West End boasts an array of salons such as Charlie Miller and Face And Body that will make you look fabulous this Christmas.
In attendance will be the Lord Provost as well as politicians and councillors to support the West End re-launch including; Marco Biagi MSP, Sarah Boyack MSP, Councillor Jo Mowat, Councillor Karen Doran, Councillor Lesley Hinds, and hopes of more on the day.
Michael Apter, Chairman of the West End Association stated: “The new branding for the West End and Haymarket represents a reimagining of the area, and an opportunity to remind our fellow citizens that there are literally hundreds of small businesses offering a dizzying array of unique products and distinctive personal service. We urge residents and visitors to revisit the West End and Haymarket and shop, eat, drink and prepare for a really special Christmas in 2013.”
During the extended tram works in the area it has seen a number of new businesses open up. The Edinburgh Larder Bistro has just had a makeover in preparation for the festive season, and there are many other new independent businesses such as the Affogato ice cream parlour on Queensferry Street and Hogarth on Stafford Street. Run & Become recently relocated to the West End, and Rae Macintosh Music has just moved from Queensferry Street into larger premises on Shandwick Place. For the first time since the work began, there are barely any empty units to rent in William Street and Queensferry Street, and agents and landlords are looking forward to the opportunities arising from major developments in Charlotte Square and the surrounding area. The opening of Sainsbury’s and Morrisons alongside the Co-Op on Shandwick Place means that part of the West End has become the place to go for a spot of last minute shopping on the way to the office or on the way home from work, and a number of new hotels and serviced apartments have opened in the area to cater for visitor demand. The West End is in demand!