Published: 11 June 2013
Edinburgh's Colonies is about the formation of the Edinburgh Co-operative Building Company - 93 years of continuous history until its liquidation in 1954. The co-operative was formed in 1861 by a group of building workers determined to establish their families' independence from landlords and, instead, manage their own destinies.
By 1881 the co-operative had built 1300 properies with 4500 residents. Eventually 2300 homes were built on 11 sites by 1914. None of the properties have been subsequently demolished. Historic Scotland has assigned listed building status to properties on two sites in Stockbridge and Dalry. While a co-operative spirit motivated the establishment of the co-operative, its ownership was open to investors who bought stock in the co-operative - private individuals and property companies. In 1911 the owners of one-third of the properties owned two or more properties.
Edinburgh's Colonies - housing the workers