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Conserving the historic environment

Grants are available through our Conservation Funding Programme for the conservation of buildings and public spaces in and around the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site, helping retain the authenticity and integrity of our remarkable historic city.

What types of grants are available?

Grants are available for eligible private owners and commercial buildings (please check eligibility on page 4 of our Guidance Notes). Depending on the work involved, the grants available include:

Repayable grant

This is an interest-free grant which you will need to repay to us whenever you sell or transfer your property. In the case of commercial property, the grant is repaid on sale or transfer of your property, or after 10 years; whichever is sooner.

Non-repayable grant

This is an interest-free grant which you do not need to repay to us, unless you sell or transfer your property within 24 months of your project being completed.

A combination of the above

We can offer a combination of funding types for certain projects, for example if the value of your grant exceeds £50,000, we could offer both a non-repayable grant (for the first £50,000) and repayable grant (for the amount over £50,000).

If you are a public, community or charitable organisation, please refer to our project funding page.

What conservation work to buildings is funded?

We fund work on the external fabric of historic buildings, using traditional materials and methods such as:

  • Stonework (e.g. repointing, repair and paint removal with approved methods)
  • Roof (e.g. leadwork, slatework, joinery, flashings and chimneys)
  • Shopfront restoration/reinstatement
  • Limework (e.g. lime pointing, lime wash and lime harling)
  • Restoration/reinstatement of missing original architectural details
  • Repair of original windows including reinstatement of original pattern
  • Railings, steps and other features may be included as part of larger works

Take a look at our project portfolio to read more on our grant-funded work

Our criteria and priorities

  • Urgency / threat – We’ll consider the condition of the property, its deterioration, and impact of carrying out the works
  • Project impact – We want projects that maximise opportunities for a positive, comprehensive improvement
  • Security of investment – We prioritise long-term maintenance of buildings and minimal negative changes
  • Need of investment – Projects in or adjacent to the World Heritage Site with the greatest need of investment will be prioritised
  • Ability to proceed – We’ll favour projects with no significant obstacles to proceeding in the time periods set by our funders

Our key priorities for this funding period are tenements and shopfronts.

What we DON’T fund

  • routine maintenance and minor repairs
  • alterations and private interior work
  • demolitions
  • upgrading of services
  • underground drainage
  • stone cleaning