Director's Notes - November 2016
Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, reflects on the charity's current priorities.
Nov 7, 2016
Our aim at Edinburgh World Heritage is simple - to ensure that the city’s World Heritage status is a positive force for good that benefits everyone. To achieve this we strive to connect people to their heritage in everything we do – whether through the conservation of historic buildings, delivering improvements to the public realm, or engaging people directly with the rich heritage of their city.
The past few months have been incredibly busy as we work to bring this aim to life in partnership with more and more people across the city from every walk of life.
Old Royal High School
We have been working behind the scenes for most of the year to ensure an appropriate long-term use is found for Thomas Hamilton’s magnificent building. In August we were delighted to report that proposals for the sensitive development of the site into a world-class performance venue and music school were unanimously approved by Edinburgh councillors. However, the plans for the music school are stalled for the moment due to an existing contract between the Council and the hotel developer that cannot proceed until it expires. Just this week, the developer, who’s original design for the site was rejected last year by the planning committee, made public a revised, scaled down design for the site. We believe this revised plan is still too large for the setting of Hamilton’s Greek Revival masterpiece, and that the stunning views, which are an integral part of the value of the World Heritage site, would be compromised. We’d be surprised if the development team can make the economics of this scheme work, having previously claimed that the economics of the previous proposal were on a knife-edge.
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