COVID-19: Emerging from Lockdown

Tuesday 4th May 2021

Emerging from Lockdown

We are carefully re-emerging from lockdown in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

At the end of March 2020, and then again in December after a short period of partial reopening, Out of the Blue closed our public facilities and services in line with government guidelines, to limit the spread of Covid-19. As such we were in the unprecedented position of cancelling events, classes, exhibitions, and closing the cafe, the Bongo Club and Out of the Blueprint- initiatives we have built up over many years.

The Board and staff looked for opportunities to meet the considerable social need generated by the lockdown that were in line with our values. During this period we worked with our young ex-trainee cafe staff team to adapt their working practices to work as volunteers to produce meals for vulnerable and isolated people in the community. Our cafe kitchen – otherwise closed – was made available to produce over 100,000 meals for vulnerable people in Leith in partnership with SCRAN Academy, and Out of the Blueprint operated the Community Recovery EcoPrint Service – a community print project to get support service information to the community.

During the first lockdown period we also undertook an analysis of the impact of COVID 19 on the Creative Practitioners based in Out of the Blue Studios. We shared our research report with Creative Scotland and also made representation to Councillors, MSP’s and MP’s regarding how financial support could be made more effective to those working in the Creative Industries.

Pausing much of our trading activities for two periods of lockdown has had a huge impact on our ability to generate income for social benefit. We have been successful in obtaining and utilising appropriate (and gratefully received) support funding to survive. Out of the Blue is a social enterprise and ordinarily the majority of our income is raised through our activities – activities which we had to put on hold. Despite this we committed to doing all we can to support our staff and resident artists through this difficult time. In line with our organisational values we have offered a rent holiday and rent rebates to all of our resident artists, recognising that like us, many of them are facing a period of significant uncertainty in regard to their income. Returning to trading is imperative for our social enterprise model to flourish.

The Drill Hall Cafe has reopened

Benefiting from the large glass roofed drill hall atrium, we are confident that we can provide plenty of physical distance between customers. We are also able to provide off-site catering – please email DrillHall.catering@outoftheblue.org.uk to enquire.

If you are wanting to hire the right space for socially distanced classes, workshops or events, then investigate the potential of our airy spaces by visiting the space hire section of our website.

If you are a potential stallholder for one of our markets, we are still awaiting Government guidance; in the meantime, please send any enquiries to DrillHall.markets@outoftheblue.org.uk.

Print studio

Out of the Blueprint is back in operation, providing Riso-printing services. Click here for more details.




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  • How to get here


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    Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny St, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG

  • Covid-19 restrictions

    The Out of the Blue Drill Hall is open for appropriately social distanced and much needed conviviality and activity.

    We are now bringing back events, classes, workshops, and exhibitions in line with Scottish Government guidelines.

  • Cafe Opening Hours

    Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm

  • Donate

    Over the course of 2021 Out of the Blue will continue to offer opportunities for artists and members of the community to learn, participate and earn income.

    We use the space we have developed in 6 buildings in Edinburgh for studios, workshops, classes, projects, exhibitions, social enterprises, events, clubs, music making, markets, a cafe and more.

    Our all year round activity helps create the culture of the city, supporting the local economy and having positive social impact for the thousands of individuals and organisations we work with.

    We would humbly accept a financial donation, however small, in support of our work.




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  • Association

    Learn more about the Green Arts Project OSCR charity number SC022812