Lighting event sparks Royal Mile improvements

A major project to highlight the alleys of the Royal Mile has been welcomed by City of Edinburgh Council Planning Convener, Councillor Ian Perry.

The Council's lighting and planning teams have been working with Edinburgh World Heritage to transform 12 Old Town Closes, with a demonstration lighting event to be launched today in Bakehouse Close.

The initiative will see a series of improvements to the selected closes, including artwork, lighting and interpretation, to encourage greater use by the public.

Bakehouse Close

Councillor Perry said: "The improvements to the closes are a key part of the Royal Mile Action Plan. However, many visitors may be unaware that these unique aspects of the city’s history are there to be explored. This project is a great way to showcase the closes using new lighting techniques. Council planners and lighting staff have been working with Edinburgh World Heritage and we are pleased to continue our support for this impressive project."

Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage said: "Historically the closes were the secondary routes through the medieval city, however they have long been underused and in some cases neglected spaces. We hope that with the help of residents, students, artists, local businesses and the City of Edinburgh’s street lighting and neighbourhood teams we will be able to create something of beauty and enchantment in the closes. We hope to encourage people to explore these neglected historical spaces, improving the quality of the spaces for the residents, and supporting businesses by encouraging footfall."

The main funding for the project will come from Edinburgh World Heritage. Grants, sponsorship from local businesses and public donations, as well as contributions from the Council and other partners, will match the EWH budget of £190,000 to complete the project. EWH will be working in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust in delivering the project.

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