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Edinburgh World Heritage/News/Director’s Notes – May 2018

Director’s Notes – May 2018

Adam Wilkinson

10th May 2018

Adam Wilkinson

It has been a busy time since our last newsletter. The most noticeable change has been updating our website to more clearly present how we manage the world heritage site, and to help explain to the world what’s important about our city’s remarkable heritage.

For those who were unable to attend our World Heritage Day celebration in April, we were delighted to unleash a group of 16-24 year-olds on the city and to listen to what they had to say in response to our question of “what stops you from engaging with Edinburgh’s heritage?”. The answers were beautifully articulated on the night and in their manifesto, which we are now working out how to bring to life. You can read the full manifesto here but one of the key elements for me was “tell us the truth”.

History is dense, complex and multilayered, and a separate discussion with Sir Geoff Palmer, Honorary President of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council has helped me start to reconsider what those truths are and how they link directly to the uncomfortable challenges we face as a society now. We have invited Geoff to give a public lecture in the autumn around Scotland, Edinburgh and slavery.

In September a major public inquiry kicks off into the hotel proposals for the Greek Revival Royal High School on Calton Hill. Twice rejected by the City of Edinburgh (upholding its end of the bargain to look after the World Heritage Site), the developers have appealed to Scottish Government. For the first time in my working life, there is a fully united coalition of expert, civic and public bodies aligned against the development proposals. Edinburgh World Heritage, the Cockburn Association and the New Town and Broughton Community Council have joined forces to reduce costs and effort, but we still need to raise the funds of the heavily discounted legal costs – some £40,000 – for the inquiry. We would urge you to contribute, via this crowdjustice page. Every donation makes a difference.

(Feature image via Flickr)