Five-year plan for Edinburgh's world heritage site

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A new plan for Edinburgh's Old and New Towns World Heritage Site has been launched.

It includes commitments to improve the quality of new development, better manage tourism growth, and raise residents' understanding of the site.

The area, inscribed by Unesco in 1995, covers the city centre from Quartermile to Dean Village and from the west end to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

The new plan to manage the site will run for five years.

The plan was drawn up by City of Edinburgh Council, Edinburgh World Heritage and Historic Environment Scotland.

Recent research shows that public understanding about the site is low - for example, only 8% of 16-24-year olds in Scotland are aware that Edinburgh's New Town is part of a World Heritage Site.

The council recently granted the lease for the Tron Kirk on the High Street to Edinburgh World Heritage for use as a World Heritage centre.

The plan also commits the city to better manage tourism growth and covers areas such as short-term holiday lets and issues over street cleanliness.

'Benefits everyone'

Adam McVey, City of Edinburgh Council leader, said: "The new plan commits us to continue to improve our conservation and promotion of the city's internationally-renowned Old and New Towns World Heritage Site.

"I am fully supportive of the actions, which are wide ranging and tackle many of the key concerns expressed by residents of the city and others. These will also be integrated into the broader management of the city to ensure the actions are taken forward."

Adam Wilkinson, director of Edinburgh World Heritage, said: "We believe that the city's world heritage status should be a dynamic force that benefits everyone.

"There is clearly more work to make this a reality, for example to ensure young people are engaged with and understand our heritage.

"The new plan will help us to address this issue, among others which have been voiced by the public."

Barbara Cummins, director of heritage at Historic Environment Scotland, said: 'The Old and New Towns of Edinburgh are one of Scotland's six extraordinary and diverse World Heritage Sites.

"The issues and challenges facing Edinburgh as our vibrant capital city are complex and many, but this plan goes a long way to address some of the biggest challenges.

"We look forward to Edinburgh becoming an example of how best to conserve our heritage in the context of a thriving urban environment."

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