The Tron Kirk on the Royal Mile will be reopened on 1 July in the first stage of a project between The City of Edinburgh Council and Scottish Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT).

The council-owned building has been leased for five years to SHBT, and the body will now manage the restoration of the important site. Meantime it will be used as a retail outlet by social enterprise, Scottish Design Exchange (SDX).

When a feasibility study has been undertaken and eventually the renovations are complete, the plan is that the property will be leased for 125 years to SHBT who envisage a sustainable future for the building. Latterly it was used by Edinburgh World Heritage who bid successfully for the lease in 2018.

Chair of Scottish Historic Buildings Trust Maggie Wright said: “Scottish Historic Buildings Trust is privileged to be working with The City of Edinburgh Council to reopen the Tron Kirk, which has been a part of the Old Town of Edinburgh since the 17th century. We are delighted to welcome SDX to this much-loved Edinburgh landmark. Their tenancy represents a ‘meanwhile use’ of the building and will provide an engaging space for locals and tourists to explore as we consult with the community on its long-term future.”

“Our partnership with SDX continues SHBT’s connections to the creative industries. Our work at Custom House in Leith has seen the building transformed into a vibrant creative hub, providing a temporary home for a wide range of artisans and artists to work collaboratively while the restoration project is developed.”

Cllr Mandy Watt Depute Leader of the Council at the Launch of 2022 Edinburgh Labour Manifesto at Coffee Saints PHOTO ©2022 The Edinburgh Reporter

Cllr Mandy Watt, Depute Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said “Together we’re securing the future of Edinburgh’s historic Tron Kirk and I’m delighted to see the keys handed over. 

“This is a building which has withstood centuries of change. It has survived the Great Fire of Edinburgh and two World Wars. In recent years, however, it has been at serious risk of disrepair. 

“Scottish Historic Buildings Trust has an excellent track record of preserving buildings like this. Their work securing sustainable futures for Riddle’s Court in the Old Town and Custom House in Leith are two great examples. 

“I’m confident they will do the same with the Tron Kirk, which has acted as a gathering place for the people of Edinburgh for almost 400 years. It’s great that we’ll see this tradition continue when doors reopen on 1 July for an indoor market space.”

CEO of Scottish Design Exchange, Lynzi Leroy, said: “I am absolutely delighted to have been given the opportunity to bring local artists and designers to such a well-loved historical building at the heart of the Royal Mile. The Scottish Design Exchange has been helping artists from all over Scotland to showcase their work since 2015, and we know that their products are loved by locals and tourists alike.”

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