Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Conservation Update

An update on EWH funded conservation projects around the World Heritage Site.

May 28, 2015

City Observatory
EWH has awarded an interim grant of £120,000 as part of a major project to transform the City Observatory on Calton Hill into an arts centre and new home for the Collective Gallery. The EWH grant will help to fund exterior conservation works to the category A listed building, particularly repairs to the stonework and roof.

The City Observatory was designed by William Playfair and completed in 1822 for the Astronomical Institution. The plan is for the building to become an all year-round arts venue, open to the public on a permanent basis for the first time.

Working with the City of Edinburgh Council, the Collective Gallery aims to create a new gallery on the site, along with interpretation of its heritage and restoration of the grounds of the observatory. Find out more about the project.

Coates and Atholl Crescent
EWH has awarded a grant of £106,030 for the repair of stone boundary walls to Coates and Atholl Crescent Gardens, as part of a larger conservation scheme managed by the City of Edinburgh Council. The project is part of a series of public realm improvements along the route of the tram, which has also seen new planting and pavements. The conservation works are expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

The gardens were constructed between 1812-25 and form one of the great architectural set pieces of the New Town, forming an impressive large oval shaped space at the entrance to Princes Street. The shape was accidental though, as the new crescent of townhouses was forced to follow an old boundary line with the Walker Estate.

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral
EWH awarded a grant of £10,000 for further landscaping improvements to the grounds of the cathedral.

The project forms the third phase of works, which has already seen a new grassed area created in the north-west corner of the grounds, offering much needed public green space in the West End.

This phase of work will see new paving and stone edging laid, to improve access and create new flower beds. The project has also received funding from Scottish Government’s People and Communities Fund, as it provides an excellent training opportunity for the apprentices at the St Mary’s Workshop.

Formed in 1987, the workshop is recognised as an exemplar in the UK, with the aims of restoring the cathedral and promoting training in traditional building skills. The students serve a four year apprenticeship and achieve a Scottish Vocational Qualification.

Greyfriars Place
In March EWH awarded a grant of £2,840, to help with the restoration of two windows in a Victorian tenement in a prominent location close to Greyfriars Kirkyard. The project saw the replacement of inappropriate modern windows with traditional timber sash and case.

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