Economist Adam Smith's home revamp under way in Edinburgh

Panmure House Work to underpin the 300-year-old building, which was Adam Smith's final home, has been completed and the next stage will focus on the outside

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The next phase to restore the final home of the economist Adam Smith is getting under way in Edinburgh.

It is part of a £3.6m project to secure the future of Panmure House, which had been left derelict.

Work to underpin the 300-year-old building has been completed and the next stage will focus on the outside.

The £430,000 programme of works will involve repairing and re-slating the 17th century roof, plus conservation of the exterior stonework and windows.

The works, which are to take nine months, are supported by a £150,000 grant from Edinburgh World Heritage and funding from the Friends of Panmure House, as well as individual donations from around the world.

The house was bought by Edinburgh Business School (EBS) at Heriot Watt University in 2008.

'Intellectual endeavour'

EBS is conserving the A-listed building as a living memorial to one of the most influential members of the Scottish Enlightenment and to develop Smith's house as a world-class centre for education, events, debates about Smith's life and current economic issues.

Professor Keith Lumsden, academic director and founder of Edinburgh Business School, and the chair of the fundraising committee of the Panmure House Campaign, said: "Adam Smith is often said to be the world's first economist.

"He is a vital part of Scotland's heritage and a beacon of intellectual endeavour.

"Revitalising his last home as an educational centre will help ensure his pioneering thinking lives on in the minds of future generations.

"We are delighted to be getting this vital stage of the project to renovate Panmure house underway, making it wind and water tight and restoring the exterior to its former glory."

Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: "Panmure House is an important historic building, not only because of its links to Adam Smith, the Enlightenment and modern socio-economic thinking, but also as rare survival of a seventeenth century town mansion.

"We welcome the carefully considered scheme for its re-use as a centre for economics and social studies, very much in keeping with the spirit of its past.

"Rethinking a significant building at risk in this way will support the surrounding area, bringing wider benefits for the people of the Canongate today."

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