Investigation into operation of the Tron Kirk launched

The Tron Kirk. Stock Image
The Tron Kirk. Stock Image
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An investigation has been launched following a complaint about the way a city landmark is being run.

The Tron Kirk is now home to a Victorian market and is also used occasionally for music functions during the Fringe.

But council chiefs are looking into Royal Mile venue’s operating practices amid claims of a possible breach of the terms and conditions of its lease.

Jim Orr, Independent Councillor for Southside Newington, has written to the city’s Corporate Property department asking it to ensure the “operation of the building is fully compliant with all legal obligations”.

In the letter, he urged officials to ensure his formal complaint was “fully investigated and addressed” and “that in future the building is only leased to experienced trustworthy professionals”.

He added: “The indoor market clearly provides gainful employment and is an interesting feature in the Old Town, but it is still imperative that it is protected as well as operated fairly and safely.”

Cllr Orr claimed the listed building consents for the internal fittings expired five months ago and that “appropriate building warrants” for the electricity supply did not appear to be in place.

He also claimed that the Tron was operating as a Fringe venue when it was only leased as an indoor 
market, “with the cost of the lease priced accordingly”.

A spokeswoman from the Fringe confirmed that the 17th-century church is not listed as an official festival venue.

Tron leaseholder David Coutts denied it was being used as such and insisted that any music events were private ticketed functions raising money for charitable organisations including Autism Scotland.

“I believe, in due course, we will be contacted by the council regarding a complaint, he said.

“I will respond accordingly when this is received but my understanding is that we are 100 per cent not in breach of anything.”

Mr Coutts has a rolling lease with the city council pending the agreement of a long-term deal with Edinburgh World Heritage Trust for the Tron’s redevelopment as a “visitor attraction”.

The latest blow to the indoor market comes a week after the Evening News revealed plans by movie mogul Rick Senat to transform the landmark into a shop selling merchandise from the likes of Harry Potter and James Bond. It is understood the new proposals would see the Covent Garden-based London Film Museum open a shop on Scotland’s most famous thoroughfare.

Stallholders have also sought legal advice in a bid to challenge the move and are seeking to make a deputation to the council’s finance and resources committee when it meets on Thursday.