“I’VE always thought it’s a great community, they look after their own here.”
Plumber James Cameron has lived in or around Niddrie all his life and does not think it deserves its bad reputation, despite latest statistics ranking the area as the most deprived part of Edinburgh.
While some flats look a bit run down, Christmas lights twinkle in the windows of several homes which have benefited from regeneration initiatives, including a housing co-operative in his street.
Two boys roar down Niddrie House Avenue on a quadbike, but otherwise the atmosphere is quiet with one man loading tins of paint into his car, while a mother walks her children home from school.
Mr Cameron, a 54-year-old grandfather, adds: “It’s not as bad as it was, and I don’t think crime here is any worse than anywhere else in Edinburgh.”
But he agrees that like many places across the country, life is tougher than it once was with breweries, brickworks and mines which once provided steady work “all gone now”.
Newcomer George Kumah, 37, agrees that finding work is hard. After finishing an MBA he is working as a security guard while he tries to launch a business career.
He says: “It is difficult to get a professional job. Maybe employers are scared of the address, but I think it’s friendly here. The environment could be kept a bit tidier, but we have a Lidl and an Asda.”
Meanwhile, one great-grandmother says she has simply “got used to” living in Niddrie and is looking forward to moving out soon. The 58-year-old, who did not want to be named, says: “I’m not surprised it is rated the most deprived place in Edinburgh.”