Leith Theatre rebirth and Ross Pavilion vision in running for Creative Edinburgh Awards

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The reopening of the neglected Leith Theatre building after 30 years is to compete with multi-million pound plans to replace the Ross Bandstand at Edinburgh’s annual creative industries Oscars.

Hidden Door, the nine-day arts festival staged at Leith Theatre earlier this year, is in the running in one of the main categories at the Creative Edinburgh Awards later this month.

The historic Leith Theatre building was reopened for the Hidden Door festival in May.

The historic Leith Theatre building was reopened for the Hidden Door festival in May.

It will be up against the Leith-based design practice GRAS, the only Scottish company involved in the winning bid to create a new “Ross Pavilion.”

Also in contention for the City Award, which recognises an “outstanding contribution” that has promoted Edinburgh nationally or internationally, are Boat, a series of graphic novels set in a post-apocalyptic version of Edinburgh, technology incubator CodeBase, furniture designer Fisk and arts collective Open Close.

The leadership award will be contested by Martin Sweeney, whose one-week Paradigm festival turned the Biscuit Factory building into a “interactive playground of the visual arts,” and Morvern Cunningham, the founder of the Leith Late festival, who helped produce a recent new blueprint for the future of the historic port, and poet Jenny Lindsay, for her Flint & Pitch spoken word nights.

Start-up award nominees include CareSourcer, a new venture connecting those seeking care with those provides, literary magazine and book publisher 404 Ink, and Custom Lane, a new hub for the creative industries created at Leith’s former Custom House.

Codebase has grown to become the UK's biggest technology incubator.

Codebase has grown to become the UK's biggest technology incubator.

Student award contenders include the fashion stylist and photographer Alannah Cooper, publisher Lauren Nickodemus and designer Olalla Borrego.

Claire Stewart, director of Creative Edinburgh, said: “The Creative Edinburgh Awards celebrate the best of Edinburgh’s creative achievements and this year’s nominees were of an exemplary standard.

We’re very proud of our creative community and all that they have achieved in 2017 and delighted to be highlighting such incredible work and achievement from Edinburgh’s talented creative sector.

“We ensure that our annual awards are accessible by making them open and free to enter. We believe that produces the strongest of shortlist selections, who have been put forward by the community, underlining Edinburgh’s vibrancy and ambition as a creative capital.”

A new hub for the creative industries has been developed at Leith's former Custom House.

A new hub for the creative industries has been developed at Leith's former Custom House.

The awards, which feature 32 nominees across nine different categories, are being staged for the sixth year by Creative Edinburgh, a 3500-strong network of businesses, professions and students drawn from the city’s creative sector. Winners will be announced on 24 November.

Mark Gorman, chair of Creative Edinburgh, added: “Our shortlist this year is outstanding - we’re looking forward to celebrating their achievements at the awards party and marking a stand-out year for Edinburgh in terms of creativity, ambition and the strength of our brilliant community.”

FULL LIST OF NOMINEEES

City Award

Hidden Door Festival

GRAS Studio

Boat Graphic Novel

Fisk

CodeBase

Open Close Collective

Collaboration Award

Duncan Cowles and North Merchiston Care Homes

Luke Pell and In The Ink Dark

The Architecture Fringe

Pyrus Botanicals x Lab Perfumes

Creativity Award

Blueroom Collective – Nowhere

Alice Carnegie – Bubblegum

Daniel Labrosse – Artificial Hearts & Blue People in the Concrete Complex

Creative Electric – Sinking Horses & The Church of Broccoli

Commercial Award

Create Future

Cagoule

BrightSide Studio

Independent Award

Marco Bevilacqua / Want Some Studio

Robbie Walker / Pieute

Ashley Jack

Leadership Award

Jenny Lindsay

Morvern Cunningham

Martin Sweeny

Social Award

Edinburgh Soup

John Byrne Awards

Edinburgh Tool Library

Start-up Award

CareSourcer

404 Ink

Custom Lane

Student Award

Alannah Cooper

Lauren Nickodemus

Olalla Borrego