THE City of Edinburgh Council has agreed that the old Royal High School on Calton Hill will be put up for sale.
The 19th century building acted as a school up until 1968, when it was refurbished to accommodate a devolved legislature for Scotland – however, the country did not gain devolution until 1998 and it was then decided that the Scottish Parliament would be built.
The council purchased the building from the Scottish Office in 1994 for £1.75 million. Since then, various plans have been put forward to use it as a hotel or music academy. However, these did not materialise.
Commenting on the building being put up for sale, councillor Rob Munn, The City of Edinburgh Council’s convener of the finance and resources committee, said, “I’m pleased that committee has unanimously agreed that we can now move forward and remarket this iconic building to identify the best value option for the city and our residents in the future.
“We know there are a number of interested parties out there and I think this is also the best and fairest way to proceed. A report with further details on how we’ll take this forward will be considered by councillors in May.”
Councillor Joan Griffiths, Vice Convener, added, “I’m delighted we now have a way ahead and I look forward to seeing the options presented to us at a future committee which could occupy this very important building, so prominent in our World Heritage site.”
The Cockburn Association, one of the world’s oldest architectural conservation and urban monitoring groups, said that it supports the proposal of utilising the building as a music school.
A spokesperson from the association said, “We believe that any new procurement exercise for the Royal High School must emphasise the need to secure public benefit over economic value, recognising the civic status of this iconic building.”