- Niddrie, Edinburgh
The Wauchope family owned the majority of the area up to the 1930s, The family home Niddrie Marischal House was immediately west of the present day Jack Kane Centre sports complex in Hunters Hall Park. The Wauchopes eventually donated their lands to the city.
Immediately adjacent to the Barony of Craigmillar, and part of Edinburgh City's political ward Craigmillar/Portobello, it was also the home of the Craigmillar Festival Society, a well regarded and internationally renowned community arts organisation, founded by local mother and "Woman Of Achievement" Helen Crummy.
The placename is believed to be of Brythonic origin, *nuada tref meaning "new settlement". In an 1987 Craigmillar Festival Society community drama production called "Dampbusters" (a show about poor housing in the community at that time), it was jokingly referred to as meaning "never dry", a dubious and bogus translation from the "Old Scots" vernacular.
The Niddrie Mains estate is now almost completely demolished. The land has been mostly designated for private housing. The land which occupied most of the social housing in the community has and is being regenerated. However, whatever the ratio of the housing mix being planned and developed, debate still continues locally over the final number of units for social housing provision, and, given the lack of affordable housing at present, this debate looks likely to continue.
The site is currently being developed by PARC, an ALMO or Arms Length Management Organisation, fully owned by the City of Edinburgh Council. The development includes a new primary school for the surrounding area, with the old Niddrie Mill primary school as well as St Francis primary school joining forces to take up residence in a joint campus within the new building. The first, though unassociated, phase of redevelopment in the Niddrie Mains area was the Hays area, constructed around 2001 and consisting of two storey blocks with gardens and pedestrianised streets.
Social housing was built in Niddrie by the Edinburgh Corporation as a social experiment linked to slum clearance in the old town of Edinburgh in the 1930s, Families from these cleared areas were housed together with local coal mining families from Niddrie. The first streets were mostly full of poor families with no local facilities whatsoever and the attitude towards Niddrie from the rest of Edinburgh was predictable and generally hostile and that continues up to the present day.
In the 80s and 90s Niddrie suffered from a high crime rate. Antisocial behaviour was very common, though gang fights and knife crime are of a lesser degree than in the 80's and 90's. In the eighties, Niddrie was one of the most drug-riddled communities in Scotland, and still has problems with class A drug use today. Nearby Greendykes was ranked as the 4th most deprived area in Scotland in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2006.
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