Edinburgh World Heritage - News Article


Director's Notes – July 2017

Adam Wilkinson reflects on recent achievements and future priorities at Edinburgh World Heritage

Jul 10, 2017

Restoring Edinburgh’s shopfronts to their original 19th century beauty is a tricky business. Asking a small enterprise to interrupt trade and cash flow to gain the proven long-term benefits shopfront improvements bring is difficult.

The benefits are around increased footfall, and so increased revenue, as well as the overall lift it can give to a street, particularly if neighbouring businesses see the benefit and wish to see their shop front restored too.

We are therefore delighted that Rebecca and Noel at Maxis Café were willing to talk about their recent experiences in order to help bring other shops on board. Watch the video here.

Our current focus is South Bridge, where the shop fronts are just one part of the wider problems – one of which is that this 230-year-old structure was never intended to carry four lanes of traffic.

Turning to matters further afield, we have recently been successful in two major applications for funding for international programmes, through the great work of our colleague Krzysztof Chuchra. While these programmes may sound glamorous, the principle reason for EWH taking part in them is to bring benefits back to Edinburgh.

Our project with the Cultural Protection Fund, assisting colleagues in the Turkish Cities of Mardin and Diyabakir, gives us the opportunity to set up a summer training school, which will be open to colleagues in Edinburgh and other programmes and partnerships EWH is engaged with.

While at an international level, the World Heritage Committee has been meeting in Krakow. Edinburgh has not been on the agenda, but Liverpool has: it is on the World Heritage At Risk list because of the threat of inappropriate development, and will remain there for another year. If there is no change in the position, it is in danger of becoming only the third World Heritage Site to lose its status. We need to tread carefully.

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