After a tortuous series of emails, we’re pleased to publish the full text of the Memorandum of Understanding that has been signed between the City of Edinburgh Council, Forth Ports and Scottish Enterprise.
Despite the vast sums of public money that could potentially be thrown at the docks in the coming years, and the fanfare that was made about it at the time, the public agencies involved in the deal have been surpisingly reticent in their willingness to make this document public.
Given that it turns out the contents of the MoU seems to comprise largely of disclaimers that make it clear that no-one will be liable if anything goes wrong, one wonders why they were so coy.
Anyway, what can we learn from the document that we don’t know already? It seems to indicate that all parties are signed up to developing the docks as a new industrial hub for Scotland. Something many in Leith may welcome, but may not happen as quickly, or as easily, as some would like if this Herald article is true.
However, it would appear that the new owners of Leith Docks are particularly keen to persuade the public sector to foot the bill for improvements to the lock gates at the mouth of the dock. This will allow larger ships to make use of the dock – and presumably generate greater profits for Arcus.
And it also sets out a five year timetable for work on the docks, implying that publicly funded works in and around the docks area could be starting by this time next year.
A cynic may question what bearing this agreement has on the consultation scheduled for next Wednesday on the new City Development Plan. Afterall, to some it may seem that it won’t matter what Leithers say – or what sketches the planners draw – the future of the docks is already a done deal.