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12 Edinburgh closes in line for illuminating makeover

November 25 2015

12 Edinburgh closes in line for illuminating makeover
Edinburgh World Heritage, in partnership with Napier University and the city council, is to give 12 Old Town closes a lighting focussed makeover including new artwork and public realm enhancements.

In a demonstration of the £380k project the organisation has prepared a demonstration installation outside its Bakehouse Close base to illustrate how considered lighting design can encourage greater pedestrian use.

Here a range of alternative lighting approaches are being showcased to show residents, businesses and the public how the unique charm and history of such places can be enhanced, allowing them to become useful pedestrian connections once more.

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”.

There are 74 closes and wynds surviving within the Old Town world heritage area with Riddle’s Close, Crichton’s Close, Stevenlaw’s Close, Fleshmarket Close, Carruber’s Close, and Bakehouse Close all early front runners to receive a makeover.
Edinburgh's unique layout of closes off the Royal Mile has been likened to the bones of a fish
Edinburgh's unique layout of closes off the Royal Mile has been likened to the bones of a fish


Matthew Ansell
#1 Posted by Matthew Ansell on 25 Nov 2015 at 14:13 PM
Great idea. Bakehouse looks strikingly good...looking forward to seeing the rest.
Sir Ano
#2 Posted by Sir Ano on 25 Nov 2015 at 16:54 PM
The Old Town Community Council are gonna go mental!
#3 Posted by CADMonkey on 25 Nov 2015 at 20:55 PM
"£380k project"!!!!
I thought the council had no money.
No wonder - if it gets frittered away like this.

The Old Town is a work of art as it is.
Leave it alone.
#4 Posted by Clive on 26 Nov 2015 at 03:34 AM
yes, CADMonkey! leave it alone! Remove all the lighting! bring back tallow candles, rampant syphilis and open sewers! yay!
Money aside, a sensitive lighting scheme will really lift the Closes, and in a fairly non-intrusive manner.
#5 Posted by Cadmonkey on 26 Nov 2015 at 13:40 PM
I'm not saying bring back anything.
I'm just saying don't prod and poke a gem.
Tourists flock to see it, unfettered.

You can't "leave money aside" either.
This is a complete waste of public money.
#6 Posted by JC on 26 Nov 2015 at 18:50 PM
A great event, almost like an open air show. Hopefully the other closes will benefit from the project!

@CADMonkey Can you see in the text anything about the Council's money? Do you homework, move yourself to the event and learn why this project was set up. The project is managed by Edinburgh World Heritage - I guess they know better than you what's needed in the Old Town.
#7 Posted by Cadmonkey on 27 Nov 2015 at 06:17 AM
JC please do not accuse me of not doing my "homework".
If you did yours you would know that Edinburgh World Heritage is funded by City of Edinburgh Council.
The same council who presently can't afford basic services to council tax payers.
If EWH continue with expensive vanity projects such as this CEC must cease their funding stream.
Bert Raccoon
#8 Posted by Bert Raccoon on 27 Nov 2015 at 08:28 AM
@CADMonkey Can you not go elsewhere to expel your negativity, try finger painting or something of the like!

i also think its a great idea
#9 Posted by Tullochgorum on 27 Nov 2015 at 09:15 AM
@Cadmonkey. Not sure you'll get a very high mark for that "homework"!

In 2014-2015, CEC funded EWH to the tune of £48,000, so barely even an 1/8th of this particular project. By comparison, Historic Scotland provided over £1.2m and they raise a lot of their funds from private and corporate sponsors these days.
#10 Posted by CadMonkey on 27 Nov 2015 at 16:10 PM

A couple of questions:
Where did you get your statistics?
Why is CEC funding EWH at all?

Historic Scotland is privately funded too.

Pass the gravel spoon please.
#11 Posted by Tullochgorum on 27 Nov 2015 at 17:31 PM
@CadMonkey. You can find the EWH finances for 2014/15 on this pdf -

CEC used to provide them with a bit more, though not that much more, but they've been phasing it out over the last few years. As to the whys and wherefores, your guess is as good as mine.
#12 Posted by Cadmonkey on 30 Nov 2015 at 20:54 PM
This should be sponsored and backed with private money like the Virgin light show on The Royal Mile, if they want to.
At the end of the day public money is far too scarce to be frittered away on this.

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