29th January 2008 back to news

A Fresh Start for the "Postie Club"

Members of the Post Office Sports and Social Club at Restalrig are looking forward to move into a modern purpose built premises after a formal ground breaking ceremony at the site in Restalrig Drive last Wednesday.

Councillor Ewan Aitken in whose ward the club is situated, was guest of honour and dug out the first spadeful of soil watched by representatives of the club committee, their advisors Graham + Sibbald, developer Mansell Partnership Homes and Places for People.

Graham + Sibbald advised the Club on the deal and Tom Hogg of the firm commented that this has been a complex arrangement even just in terms of the practicalities of ensuring continued operation of the club in its existing premises while the site is developed around it. The developers have worked in tandem with the club on making sure that the new building will be more user friendly and neighbour friendly in terms of its operation than the existing club.

Councillor Aitken said: "The Postie Club has always been an important part of the life of this community. I am delighted that thanks to brave decisions taken by its members the community will be able to enjoy these superb new state of the art facilities and the club can continue to thrive and grow."

A spokesman for Mansell Partnership Homes remarked: "A milestone has been reached here today and it is particularly pleasing in this scheme to have been able to meet the objectives of everyone involved. We were aware of the challenges from the outset and would thank the Social Club for the confidence they have shown in us over what might have seemed a long 21 months when we have been working towards a solution. During this period we introduced Places for People to the team and completed the ideal partnership".

Club treasurer Margaret Gawley comments: "It's no secret that the club has been in decline for some time with a falling and ageing membership. The new club will allow us to offer a superior standard of facility in more up to date surroundings. Once the new building is in place we will be working hard to attract new members and involve the local community in initiatives to put the premises to more frequent use. In the meantime the existing club remains fully operational."

The new club is being built as part of a land deal between the Club and Mansell Partnership Homes which will also see 48 flats constructed at the rear of the site, 12 of which will be affordable housing in accordance with the City of Edinburgh Council policy. This follows on from the successful completion of the adjacent site in 2007 by Mansell Partnership Homes and on completion of the current development, 120 new homes will have been provided, 47 of which will have been affordable homes.

James Bee who represented Places for People at the event, remarks that Places for People is pleased to have helped to put a mechanism together which has assisted the Post Office Sports and Social Club, to create a new club facility in addition to providing the new flats.