Sir Chris Hoy in running to be national treasure

Sir Chris Hoy is in the running to be a national treasure.' Picture: Neil Hanna
Sir Chris Hoy is in the running to be a national treasure.' Picture: Neil Hanna
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SOME of Edinburgh’s best-loved celebrities and landmarks are in the running to become national treasures.

As part of its 20th birthday celebrations, the National Lottery has drawn up shortlists of attractions and well-known people.

They can be voted on to find Britain’s best-loved Lotto backed projects and people – and Edinburgh and the Lothians feature prominently.

Famous faces from the Capital include Sir Chris Hoy, recognised for becoming the most successful Olympic cyclist in history after receiving funding from the National Lottery. Also in the race for votes is fellow athlete, Katherine Grainger CBE, who studied and rowed in Edinburgh before winning gold at the 2012 Olympics.

Attractions trying to make their mark include the National Museum of Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland and Dynamic Earth.
The National Lottery, through the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, invested £17.8 million to help restore The National Museum of Scotland, a listed building, to its former glory in 2011.

Nicola Pickavance, head of development at National Museums Scotland, is delighted it has made the list.

She said: “The generous support of the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund has been crucial in delivering the transformation of the National Museum of Scotland to date.

“The redevelopment has been a huge success for Edinburgh and Scotland, attracting over five million visitors and a wave of national and international recognition since that memorable opening day in July 2011. We are delighted to be nominated as a National Lottery Treasure.”

National Galleries of Scotland will be battling it out for the prize after it received a £7.5m grant which helped build an underground extension connecting their buildings.

“The National Galleries are delighted to be shortlisted for the National Lottery national treasure award,” said Michael Clarke, director of the Scottish National Gallery.

“We are one of many outstanding treasures in Scotland and we wish all our fellow Scottish nominees the very best of luck.” The children’s science museum, Our Dynamic Earth, is also on the list. It opened in 1999 after receiving a £18.7m National Lottery grant through the Millennium Commission and Heritage Lottery Fund.

Marketing manager Eilidh Massie said: “We are thrilled to hear that Our Dynamic Earth has been selected as part of the national treasures campaign. Without the initial investment from the National Lottery it would not have been possible to create Dynamic Earth and we are incredibly grateful for this and for the support of more recent projects.”

Other projects competing for title of Scotland’s national treasure include Ben Nevis, the Emirates Arena and Hampden Park Stadium in Glasgow, the Isle of Gigha, and the newly revealed Kelpies.

Other well-known Scots to feature are actor James
McAvoy, 35, TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, 54, and singer Emeli Sandé, 27.

The public can vote on Facebook by searching for “LotteryGoodCauses” until next Tuesday. Vicki Kennedy, director of the National Lottery Good Causes, said: “It will no doubt be tricky for people to pick just one as their favourite!”

katie.richardson@edinburghnews.com