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Edinburgh World Heritage/News/£2.6 million grant awarded to Edinburgh World Heritage

£2.6 million grant awarded to Edinburgh World Heritage

15th May 2018

Edinburgh World Heritage

Historic Environment Scotland announced today that Edinburgh World Heritage, the charity responsible for the conservation and promotion of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, will receive £2.6 million funding to be used for the conservation of the city’s historic environment.

The funding is part of Historic Environment Scotland’s City Heritage Trust programme which will see a total of £8.6 million invested throughout Scotland’s seven cities over a three-year period. The grant has been given to Edinburgh World Heritage to enhance the condition, maintenance and understanding of the historic environment in the city.

maxis cowan and sons before and after edinburgh world heritage

Before and after: Maxi’s on Raeburn Place, now called Cowan & Sons

The funding will allow Edinburgh World Heritage to direct resources to local heritage-led projects that will create jobs, regenerate buildings and city precincts, provide training opportunities in the sector and lever additional funding from other sources. The charity also plans to re-invest conservation grants that have been repaid due to properties being sold – and this will add up to £1 million additional funding bringing the total for Edinburgh to £3.7 million.

Roofing at the Canongate, stonecarving at Learmonth Terrace, and conservation work at Great Stuart Street and Bible Lands (images by Kevin MacLean)

The previous three years have seen strong growth in the number and range of projects completed by the charity. Overall, 56 important buildings were conserved within the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, a growth of almost 70% compared to the previous period. Completed projects include 17t​h​ and 18​th​ century tenements, single houses, shopfronts, monuments and larger historic buildings such St. Cecilia’s Hall (1763) and the City Observatory (1818). The charity also completed a series of projects aimed at improving the public realm such as helping local communities better care for Edinburgh’s historic burying grounds as well as improvements to public pathways such as Jacob’s Ladder.

Early stages of graffiti removal at Jacob’s Ladder

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland said: ‘Through schemes such as City Heritage Trust funding, organisations best placed to understand local needs have the opportunity to not only improve the condition and quality of their local historic environment, but align projects to deliver the best possible outcomes in their communities.

‘We want to ensure more of the money we spend is directed by communities themselves – by the individuals and organisations who know best how to tackle the issues affecting their communities and harnessing the energy of local people.’

‘We are seeing the positive impacts previous funding rounds have had on local communities, including the employment opportunities generated and stronger economies from successful commercial ventures.’

Progress at a shopfront on Rose Street

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage commented: ‘​Over the past three years, Edinburgh World Heritage has delivered a wide range of projects for the city, from repairs to historic tenements, to restoring vintage shopfronts, conserving important public buildings, making improvements to the public realm, and caring for our historic burying grounds. We try to support difficult projects that simply would not happen without our expertise and experience.

‘The grant from Historic Environment Scotland for the 2018-21 period underlines the importance of conserving the capital’s extraordinary historic environment, as well as protecting its World Heritage status. Much remains to be done in the city, including better care and maintenance of listed buildings, as well as new public outreach and educational programmes about what makes the city special. But we are confident that by the end of this new funding period the city’s heritage will be better cared for than today.’

St Cecilia’s Hall and Learmonth Terrace (images by Kevin MacLean)

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity for Scotland’s cities to lead the way in improving our historic built environment and to encourage more proactive maintenance of our diverse buildings. I am confident that the funding will further benefit local communities and the wider economy, providing skilled work for our people.

‘It is essential that our historic environment is cared for in a sustainable way. The City Heritage Trust scheme will help ensure the conditions and quality of their local historic environment can be improved and preserved for future generations, while bringing immediate, tangible benefits to communities across the country.’