Royal Mile businesses team up to protect this historic street

Edinburgh's Royal Mile business owners have joined forces to preserve the historic street's reputation as a major attraction and to give them a united voice in the community.

The committee of the first Royal Mile Business Association (RMBA) was voted in at its inaugural meeting at the Hub in Castlehill today (Wednesday).

The Royal Mile Business Association (RMBA) was driven out of a passion to provide a forum for advice and discussion over issues on the Royal Mile, create a community where businesses look out for each other, create and possibly fund events, and coordinate promotions and marketing. RMBA's aims include:

  • Offering members a united voice to the relevant authorities on issues such as lighting, paving, and streetscape,
  • Representing the interests of business owners on or near the Royal Mile; and those that conduct business there,
  • Confirming the Royal Mile's position as a quality product.

The first meeting of the RMBA took place as a draft Royal Mile Action Plan, aimed at improving the thoroughfare for visitors and residents, will be discussed by the Planning Committee tomorrow.

The Plan lays out a long term vision to restore the famous street to its former glory, and will look at relevant issues such as pedestrian and vehicle access, and road surfacing.

The draft will be sent out for community consultation if councillors approve the proposal to develop a plan. Councillor Frank Ross, Convener of the Economy Committee, who attended today's meeting, said: "A healthy and vibrant business community helps to strengthen the city's economy and financial prosperity, and any move to attain this should be encouraged.

"The RMBA will give traders a united voice when it comes to improving the experience for visitors and residents, to create a safe and clean environment, and to conserve the city's heritage."

RMBA Chairman Gary Still, owner of the WHISKI Bar and Restaurant, was at the forefront of the bid to form the RMBA, the development of which was supported by the City of Edinburgh Council.

Mr Still said: "I think it is great that Edinburgh and the RMBA has been formed to promote, maintain and improve the amenities, attractions and facilities on the Royal Mile, and the interconnecting closes and streets.

"RMBA's aim will be to work with all businesses to make sure their suggestions and interests are supported, and encourage the street community to have its say on continuously improving the Royal Mile for locals and visitors."

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