ONE of Edinburgh’s largest tourist sites has been partially flooded after bungling builders damaged a water pipe with a drill.
Around two thirds of the shops inside the Tartan Weaving Mill on the Royal Mile were shut this afternoon after Virgin Media workers broke the mains water pipe while installing high-speed internet cables - flooding three of the building’s five floors.
A full evacuation was carried out and the building’s iconic tartan weaving mills were brought to a halt, with “extensive water damage” caused to flooring and walls.
The shopping complex - owned by city tourism tycoons the Gold Brothers - was built as a reservoir in 1850 to provide water to the New Town, before being decommissioned around 25 years ago.
Today a spokesman for the Gold Brothers said: “The reservoir is refilling itself, courtesy of Virgin media.”
The flooding is the second incident to hit the tourism bosses in less than a week, after an armed robbery was carried out on their Edinburgh Scarf Co shop on Saturday evening.
The Gold Brothers’ Dildar Singh Gold said: “We have experienced our second major incident in a week following the armed robbery of our Edinburgh Scarf Co. shop.
“My initial assessment of the water incident at the Tartan Weaving Mill is that there is thousands of pounds of damage and loss.
“Our Tartan Weaving Mill staff are hands on deck to get the Mill and visitor centre open as quickly as possible. This could take some time to get fully open again.
“The sight here for quite a while was of the former Castlehill reservoir filling up again. But the seventeen feet thick walls would have held I’m sure.”
He added: “Woollen products don’t sell well when they’re mixed with water - our new whisky shop will be fine though!”
The company said they would be making a “serious complaint” to Virgin Media after discussions with their insurers.
A Virgin Media spokeswoman said: “We would like to apologise for the inconvenience caused.
“Unfortunately, the vibrations caused by the drilling needed to install new business internet services into the building has damaged the mains water pipe servicing the building.
“We’re working closely with contractors on site to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”