Edinburgh's Old Royal High School goes on open market in search for viable long-term future

Edinburgh’s former Royal High School has been put on the open market by the city council in a bid to secure a viable long-term future for the historic building.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 6:25 pm

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Controversial plans to turn the A-listed landmark at Calton Hill into a luxury hotel were rejected by councillors last year and a plea to extend a legal agreement with the developers to allow a revised scheme to come forward was turned down in January.

But rather than go straight into a new deal for the iconic building at the heart of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site to become the new home of the city’s St Mary’s Music School, the council’s finance committee agreed it should be remarketed.

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The iconic building is at the heart of Edinburgh's World Heritage Site

Any interested parties have now been invited to submit development proposals in return for a long lease of the building.

The council says any proposals must ensure a sustainable long-term future for the Royal High School and be of the highest architectural quality.

Finance convener Rob Munn has previously said there were "a number of interested parties" seeking to take over the building, which was last used as a school in 1968.

The building was earmarked to become the home of the Scottish Assembly at the time of Scotland’s failed devolution referendum in 1979 but by the time a Scottish Parliament was being set up 20 years later it was no longer seen as suitable and it has stood empty most of the time.

Councillor Munn hailed the marketing of the old Royal High School as the start of a new chapter.

He said: "This an important step forward for the future of this iconic site and means we can identify the best value option for the city and our residents in the future. We know there are a number of interested parties and having it back on the market allows them to submit any development proposals."

Finance vice-convener Joan Griffiths added: “There was unanimous agreement earlier in the year to remarket the old Royal High School and I look forward to seeing the options presented to us at a future committee which could occupy this very important building, so prominent in our World Heritage site.”

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Edinburgh to put historic Royal High School building onto the open market

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