Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - February 2011

Monthly Update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.

Feb 28, 2011

The late winter is an oddly inspiring time at EWH. On the one hand, plans for the coming year are brewed up and the first, spring-like shoots of growth start to show their heads above the ground, following weeks of hidden activity, while on the other, actions are completed in time for the end of March year end. There is a degree of nervous anticipation as to whether we'll meet our ambitions for the year (as opposed to our expectations), and how the funding will pan out: in spite of making major savings in our overheads, we still need to raise funds.

One project that has been quietly brewing and is now coming to fruition is a joint initiative with Scottish Enterprise and the Edinburgh Tourist Action Group. This has resulted in a publication to help businesses understand how they can use World Heritage status as a marketing tool. This may all seem obvious, but it is a significant small triumph, to see World Heritage being used, and hence supported, in this way.

Another plan brewing involves international collaboration. LINK We have applied, in partnership with the Warsaw School of Economics and the Vilnius Old Town Renewal Agency, to the European Union to support an exchange of expertise between the organisations. The strategy behind this is based on a need for heritage managment skills in former Eastern block countries (generally, conservation skills were well supported during the Soviet era) as they seek to understand the economic advantages of conservation. We hope that our collaboration with the Warsaw School of Economics will help us understand models for calculating the value that our city's heritage brings to the table.

Along with all this high level learning, at the level most of us are more familiar with, our learning campaign for 2011 / 12 will be focused around Edinburgh as Athens of the North. It is sheer fluke that Easyjet have just announced a direct flight from Edinburgh to Athens, but it serves to reinforce that link, and will highlight the wonderful Greek revival architecture around the city. Expect the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates be seared into your memories.

If somewhere in the city is crying out for a monument then the centre of Hillside Crescent it is. The focus of Playfair's grand scheme, the gardens are without railings and without real purpose. Bravo, then, for the Friends of Hillside and Calton, who we have the pleasure of supporting in the creating of a plan for the gardens, to create a family friendly place on this major route into the city. In the longer term it would be marvellous to reintroduce the railings, creating a degree of separation from the London Road traffic, but every journey starts with a single step. We look forward to this, and other initiatives, flowering over the coming months, as the croci are now starting to bloom in the square opposite our office.

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