We must give Edinburgh World Heritage a gold star at 50 - Angus Robertson

‘Something needs to be done about the New Town’, declared Sir Robert Matthew in the late 60s.

Charlotte Square, a classic of the New Town style. PIC: Billy Wilson, Flickr, CC.
Charlotte Square, a classic of the New Town style. PIC: Billy Wilson, Flickr, CC.

From this, Edinburgh World Heritage was established to protect and enhance the historic Old and New Towns of Edinburgh. This year, Edinburgh World Heritage celebrates its 50th anniversary. Over this time, it has established itself to be on of the greatest post-war conservation organisations in the UK, Europe, or indeed anywhere in the world.

Having recently met with the CEO and Chair to learn about ongoing work, it seems only fitting to now reflect on the fantastic work they have achieved across the last 50 years in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.

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Over 1500 projects have been completed for the benefit of residents of Edinburgh, visitors and the very foundations of the city itself. This work is a perfect example of vision, aspiration and partnership between organisations and local communities.The work of Edinburgh World Heritage is hugely important to the fabric of the city. Yet, as the work is often subtle and restorative, you may find yourself strolling past one of their completed projects, completely unaware of the work that has taken place.Several thousand dwellings, public buildings and monuments have now been conserved to world-class level, helping the Old and New Towns achieve status of World Heritage Site in 1995.Edinburgh World Heritage has an hugely exciting future, and I wish them the very best for the next 50 years.

Angus Robertson is the MSP for Edinburgh Central

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