Edinburgh World Heritage Trust receives £780,000 extra funding for historic landmarks

Edinburgh's historic Calton Hill
Edinburgh’s historic Calton Hill

By Domenica Goduto

The Edinburgh World Heritage Trust has received a funding boost of £780,000 which will allow it to refurbish a number of Edinburgh’s historic landmarks.

The Tron Kirk, St. Bernard’s Well and the buildings on Calton Hill are among the sites likely to benefit from the extra money provided by the City of Edinburgh Council.

The funding, which is to be distributed over the next three years, will also help in the promotion of Edinburgh as a world heritage site and allow schoolchildren to learn about the capital’s history.

The council received the money as part of a £3.5 billion award from the Scottish Government to shore up Edinburgh’s status as a capital city and a world heritage site.

A council spokesperson said, “This funding will allow Edinburgh World Heritage to continue to maintain the city’s heritage status which helps to promote the city and attracts people to live, study, visit and invest here.

Last year the local authority was warned that cutting funding to the Trust would significantly harm the city’s world heritage status.  The Trust normally receives £500,000 annually from the council and Historic Scotland to support its conservation activities.

The council has also been faced with a UNESCO probe following its approval of proposed developments in Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns.

An Edinburgh World Heritage spokesperson said that the supplementary backing constitutes “a clear commitment to investing in Edinburgh’s unique built heritage. We will be working closely with the council in planning for the future of Calton Hill, and helping find sustainable uses for historic buildings such as Riddles Court and the Tron Kirk.

Statues of poet Allan Ramsay and explorer David Livingstone on Princes Street and of William Pitt and George IV on George Street are also on the list for refurbishment.

The Edinburgh Heritage Trust has already completed work on the Black Watch Monument at The Mound, the Bow Well in the Grassmarket and the Melville Monument, in St. Andrew Square Garden.  It has also started work on several monuments on Calton Hill, and is now expected to be given responsibility for developing a long-term management plan for the site.