Management plan for World Heritage Site approved

The City of Edinburgh Council and partners Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland have agreed a new approach to managing the Capital’s world class city centre.

Following a consultation last summer, and a draft document being considered by councillors in March this year, the final management plan for the Edinburgh Old and New Towns’ World Heritage site was agreed by councillors today at the Planning Committee.

Building on the awareness raised over the years on support available for building repairs, improving the quality of architecture, and the experience of residents and visitors, are some of the actions included in the approved Plan.

The partners will work together to ensure that the plan for the next five years will protect the integrity of the built environment while at the same time ensuring it can operate as a thriving city centre.

World Heritage Sites must have robust management plans in place to ensure their Outstanding Universal Value (what makes them of worldwide importance) is preserved and enhanced. The plan will help to inform the 2050 Edinburgh City Vision and the actions that result from this. A summary document on the full plan has been produced highlighting people’s views on six different themes and future actions to ensure improvements continue to be made in the Site going forward. The six themes are care and maintenance of buildings and streets, control and guidance, awareness of the World Heritage Site, contribution of new development, visitor management and influence and sense of control.

Cllr Neil Gardiner, Convener of the Planning Committee, said: “I would like to thank our partners and everyone who contributed to our consultation on the plan, which has allowed us to get to this stage. Our World Heritage Site is of crucial importance to the future vision and development of the city. One of the coalition’s key commitments is to protect Edinburgh’s World Heritage Status while ensuring developments maintain the vibrancy of the city in terms of placemaking, design and diversity of use.

 “It was very encouraging that through our consultation on the City Vision, public feedback for this longer-term planning exercise has already revealed the high value residents and businesses place on the quality of the historic built and natural environment in Edinburgh.

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage, commented: “The new Management Plan for the World Heritage Site describes many of the achievements of the past five years, as well as areas where we all need to do a better job.  Through a very open process of consultation and partnership, we have identified a series of new programmes that we believe will make a real difference to the better conservation, management and promotion of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.” 

Steven Robb, Deputy Head of Casework at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Edinburgh’s World Heritage site, along with the other five we boast across Scotland, is a huge asset, both in terms of the City’s profile as a visitor destination and a place to live and work. It also helps enhance a positive perception of Scotland overall on the global stage.

“It’s therefore paramount we ensure it continues to be a thriving space within the Capital, and the Management Plan sets out that vision through its six themes and suggested actions.”   

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