Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes - December 2016

Adam Wilkinson's reflects on the year at Edinburgh World Heritage

Dec 22, 2016

2016 has been an important year for both the Edinburgh World Heritage team and the city’s Old and New Town World Heritage site.


As always, our conservation activities continued to take up much of our time and energy. During the year work began on a number of important historic buildings in the city such as St. Cecilia’s Hall in the Old Town, with its unique collection of early musical instruments, where we are working with the University of Edinburgh on a comprehensive conservation programme, and the City Observatory, Playfair’s important ensemble of scientific buildings, where our partner is the Collective art gallery. In both cases we hope to see these buildings open to the public in the first half of 2017.


Other important conservation projects over the year have included our ‘Twelve Closes’ project, where we are working with local communities to agree a comprehensive programme of improvements to these historically important secondary routes through the Old Town; ongoing historic tenement conservation, such as at the recently completed ‘Bible Land’ on the Canongate; and the conservation of historic shopfronts where our focus has been on much-needed improvements to West Maitland Street.


Over the year we have taken a significantly higher profile with the media, on digital platforms such as Facebook, and with city and national politicians in order to draw attention to the needs of our World Heritage Site. You can read about some of our initiatives in these areas below.


Last month I updated you on the latest developments at the old Royal High School. For the future, we will be working at both the City and national Scottish level to ensure the better integration of heritage values into the planning system so that the site’s Outstanding Universal Values are fully protected and enhanced through sensitive, conservation-led regeneration.


Thank you for all your support over 2016. On behalf of all the staff at Edinburgh World Heritage, may I take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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