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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S5M-02445

The Future of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site

Submitted by: Gordon Lindhurst, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
Date lodged: Thursday, November 10, 2016

Supported by: Jeremy Balfour, Miles Briggs, Alexander Burnett, Donald Cameron, Finlay Carson, Peter Chapman, Alex Cole-Hamilton, Maurice Corry, Murdo Fraser, Maurice Golden, Jamie Greene, Alison Harris, John Lamont, Dean Lockhart, Richard Lyle, Ben Macpherson, Margaret Mitchell, Edward Mountain, Oliver Mundell, Douglas Ross, John Scott, Alexander Stewart, Brian Whittle, Andy Wightman
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on Thursday, December 15, 2016

That the Parliament recognises the significance of the contrast between Edinburgh’s medieval Old Town and its Georgian New Town and its designation as a World Heritage Site in 1995 by UNESCO, recognising both its historical and architectural importance and efforts to conserve it since 1970; notes that the site is one of five across Scotland; understands that, according to Invest Edinburgh, the city attracts around four million visitors per year, many of whom visit the historic attractions within the World Heritage Site, such as Edinburgh Castle, St Giles Cathedral and the Real Mary King's Close; further understands that the site is a major factor behind the £1.32 billion that is generated through tourism for the local economy each year; recognises that a World Heritage Site is selected based on it having cultural, historical, scientific or other significance and its future preservation is seen to be in the collective interests of humanity; notes the prevailing development plans within Edinburgh's World Heritage Site, such as the decision over the old Royal High School at Calton Hill, and the need to develop Scotland’s capital city for the future in order to enhance the performance of its economy; recognises that Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland are involved in reviewing the Management Plan for the World Heritage Site (2017-2022), which aims to co-ordinate action to protect and enhance the outstanding universal values of the site and to promote its harmonious adaption to the needs of contemporary life; further recognises that members of the public were recently consulted on the review through a survey, the results of which were published on 1 November 2016; understands that the results show that, while awareness of the World Heritage Site was rated highly, there was a lack of understanding regarding what it meant and its associated benefits; notes the calls for action at all levels to raise awareness and custodianship of the site and the protection of the historic built environment for current and future generations, and further notes the calls on all those with influence over Edinburgh’s current and future planning developments to fully recognise the importance of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site.