City names chamber in honour of Queen’s diamond jubilee

City councillors have renamed chamber to mark Queen's diamond jubilee
City councillors have renamed chamber to mark Queen's diamond jubilee
6
Have your say

THE new Sick Kids Hospital, the tram line and the Forth Crossing were all touted as appropriate landmarks which could have been named in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – but council chiefs have opted instead for one of their meeting rooms at the City Chambers.

The Old Council Chamber, which is also advertised as available for functions, is at least more upmarket than the proposal originally put forward by Tory councillor Dominic Heslop to rebrand a remote suite of rooms as the Queen Elizabeth Diamond
Jubilee Business Centre.

The chamber was used for meetings of the town council from 1811 until 1903 and is lit by three large chandeliers.

It was later the main venue for council committee meetings, but is now more often used for ad hoc meetings and briefings and can take up to 45 at receptions or 24 for a formal dinner.

The council website says: “The Old Council Chamber exudes character and has a large table in the centre, making it the ideal setting for dinners, small receptions, boardroom meetings and presentations.”

Councillors will be asked this week to approve renaming it the Diamond Jubilee Room. The cost involved in the change is £500 for a new nameplate outside the room, a commemorative plaque inside and alterations to other signage.

Councillor Heslop said he was delighted with the proposal. He said: “I think naming the Old Council Chamber after Her Majesty would be a great move in recognition of how much she has dedicated to the city during her reign.

“This fine room would be a great improvement on my initial suggestion, a far grander venue. And the cost to the public is not over the top considering how much Her Majesty has done for our country.

“I hope there will be unanimous backing for this move.”

Cllr Heslop said he also believed the new Forth crossing would end up being named in honour of the Queen’s 60 years on the throne. “I think down the line it will be called something like the Diamond Jubilee Bridge, but that will be a matter for a government minister.”

Depute council leader Steve Cardownie backed the plan to rename the room, and said the council was looking for something “more low key” than naming the trams after the Diamond Jubilee.

“It’s more appropriate than the business centre,” he said. “I don’t expect the Queen will be breaking open the champagne over this, but I don’t think she’ll lose any sleep either.”

ian.swanson@edinburghnews.com