Artist’s impression reveals proposed new location of Leith's Robert Burns statue for Edinburgh tram works

An artist’s impression shows the proposed new location of Leith’s historic Robert Burns statue, which will be moved to make way for tram works.

Monday, 16th September 2019, 5:22 pm
The 200-year-old statue at the junction of Constitution Street and Bernard Street.
The 200-year-old statue at the junction of Constitution Street and Bernard Street.

The bronze statue currently sits on a traffic island at the junction of Constitution street and Bernard Street, which becomes Baltic Street after the junction.

But after the next phase of work to extend Edinburgh’s tram network the statue would be in the way of a new pedestrian crossing and be too close to the newly-realigned road.

A planning application has been submitted to dismantle the 200-year-old statue and rebuild it 7.2m west, away from the centre of the junction.

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An artist's impression of the new location of the statue, marked on the map in red.

Artist’s impressions show the monument will be moved into a new green space, which will replace the current connecting road between Constitution Street and Bernard Street.

The small green space will be populated by trees and public benches.

New uplights will be installed to illuminate Rabbie in his new setting.

A council spokesperson said they would also take the opportunity to carry out some conservation and restoration work on the statue.

A satellite image of the area.

The proposed work is part of the construction of tram line 1b, an extension to line 1a which runs from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrew Square.

After phase 1b, planned to complete in 2023, the line will continue to Newhaven.

There will be a new tram stop at Foot of the Walk, The Shore, and Port of Leith.

The planning application was submitted on August 26, and is open for comments until October 11.

An artist's impression of the proposed location of the statue, marked in red.

The determination date is set for October 25.

Robert Burns’ statue was commissioned by the Leith Burns Club in 1897 and erected a year later.

This is not the first time the statue has been disturbed.

In 1961 it was relocated 5m west to make way for traffic, and in 2004 it was moved again.