Scotland’s answer to the Angel of the North would be built near the Forth bridges under an award-winning businessman’s plans to revive Edinburgh’s neglected waterfront.
Eddie Tait has revealed he is forming a taskforce of MSPs and councillors to take forward his vision of transforming “Scotland’s Bondi Beach” with a series of new attractions and features.
At the heart of his proposed blueprint is the idea of creating the equivalent of Antony Gormley’s iconic sculpture for Gateshead on uninhabited Cramond Island which would offer visitors unrivalled views of the surrounding landscape.
It is hoped the island’s permanent new feature would help promote the waterfront as a major new gateway to the Scottish capital and draw thousands of new visitors to the waterfront.
Mr Tait has suggested the monument could even mark the creation of the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947.
He has put forward the idea as part of a drive to revive efforts to create a continuous high-quality promenade to help link the shoreline communities of Cramond, Silverknowes, Granton and Leith.
Mr Tait, who runs the Boardwalk Beach Club on the waterfront at Silverknowes, said Cramond Island and the Forth Bridge should be seen as Scotland’s equivalents to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
He said his business had attracted more than 100,000 customers in its first full year and recently secured a new bus link to the promenade.
Mr Tait, who has deployed drones to create new promotional videos and images to promote the areas, has suggested a new waterfront equivalent of the Ross Bandstand in the city’s Princes Street Gardens and a botanical garden be created.
Mountain biking and sculpture trails, an outdoor swimming pool, new lighting features and the installation of palm trees are among other ideas which have already been discussed with local politicians.
Mr Tait said: “If you give people a real reason to go to Cramond Island there will go there in their thousands.
“It should be seen as part of a ‘golden triangle’ along with Cramond Village, the existing the foreshore and the recreational park at Gypsy Brae, which has some of the best views of the city, A new monument on Cramond Island would be something really innovative to kick-start a big shoreline project. Creating something super-iconic would be the city properly acknolwedging the fact it actually has a coastline.
“If you hd a really big monument on Cramond Island, bigger than the one on the seafront at Brighton, you could get iconic views from it to Perthshire, Berwick Law and towards Glasgow.
“What better place to view the entire city skyline and all three Forth Bridges than from a huge tower?”