Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article

 

Director's Notes - January 2015

Monthly update from EWH Director Adam Wilkinson.


Jan 29, 2015

This month brings a mixed bag of progress reports, showing us pushing forward existing (and very interesting) projects and working hard to start up others. Work is underway on Playfair’s magnificent Surgeon’s Hall, which with the works we have supported over the road on Poundsavers is starting to build into a mini-regeneration scheme in its own right. Krzysztof has been building up our international partnerships and bringing learning back to Edinburgh, and our fundraising for the Jawbone Arch has received a tremendous boost from the Shetland Amenity Trust. We are looking forward to the return of the bones.

As everyone who has embarked on a building project will know, it takes a huge amount of work to bring a project to fruition – even a bathroom or kitchen replacement. Apply this to a living historic capital city and it is all rather more complex. Rather than simply administering grant funds on behalf of Historic Scotland, EWH works hard to take project much further, putting a great deal of professional effort into helping projects that would otherwise not happen into the light. As a consequence, we have a large number of most excellent projects at the preparatory stages, which we can’t report on here for fear of raising expectations: not every project can happen in a timely manner.

The hard work required to bring these projects forward is a reflection on the complexity of cities. This was a theme pursued by Susan Denyer of ICOMOS UK at a recent conference in Canterbury on the World Heritage Convention that I attended this month. The conference focused heavily on the legal and technical aspects of the convention, which are largely irrelevant to the everyday management of a living historic city, but presentations from Susan and a small number of other practitioners brought proceedings to life (most especially Zoran Pavlov of the Ministry of Culture in the Republic of Macedonia, relating the struggles of the management of the Natural and Cultural Heritage of the Ohrid Region). The flip side of the question of complexity is the question of resilience – and Edinburgh has both in spades. The challenge for EWH and its partners remains to work out how to make the most of this for the city’s heritage and communities.

If you would like to be more involved in our work, the Board is seeking a new member with skills and experience in the realm of project management, to support the Board’s strategic overview of our work – you can find out more here.



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