02/12/2015
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Launch of Twelve Closes Project to light up Old Edinburgh

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A new lighting project from Edinburgh World Heritage will highlight the history of Edinburgh's historic closes. Read our special feature on ten free of charge historic attractions in Edinburgh.

The event, which was launched in Bakehouse Close, will see a series of bespoke improvements to twelve Edinburgh closes, including new artwork, lighting and interpretation, to encourage greater use by the public.

Local communities will play a crucial role in the project, researching the history of the closes to provide ideas and design inspiration for their presentation.

Edinburgh's ancient closes

The Old Town’s network of closes and wynds are a key element of the city’s World Heritage status, and date back to the medieval beginnings of the city. Today there are still 74 closes, forming an integral part of the fabric of the Old Town, and home to residents, businesses and many city institutions.
 
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.'
 
Councillor Ian Perry, Planning Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, added: 'The improvements to the closes are a key part of the Royal Mile Action Plan. However, many visitors may be unaware that these unique aspects of the city’s history are there to be explored. This project is a great way to showcase the closes using new lighting techniques. Council planners and lighting staff have been working with Edinburgh World Heritage and we are pleased to continue our support for this impressive project.'
 
The main funding for the project will come from Edinburgh World Heritage. Grants, sponsorship from local businesses and public donations, as well as contributions from the City of Edinburgh Council and other partners, will match the EWH budget of £190,000 to complete the project. EWH will be working in partnership with Edinburgh Napier University and the Edinburgh Old Town Development Trust in delivering the project.

For more on the work of Edinburgh World Heritage, visit their website.

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