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Friday, 30 October 2009

National Trust for Scotland sells Edinburgh HQ

Another day, another controversial headline for the National Trust in Scotland. Now they've gone and sold the Edinburgh HQ based at 26 - 31 Charlotte Square, no details yet of the price but as they've sold it during a recession I guess they didn't get the best price.

This sale comes only months after the closure of four of the Trust's properties to the public and to it's 315,000 Members (of which I am one), they are The Robert Lorimer-designed Hill of Tarvit mansion house in Fife, Leith Hall in Aberdeenshire, Hutchesons' Hall in Glasgow and the Ben Lawers visitor centre in Perthshire.

The staff and HQ will now move to a site at Hermiston Quay West outside the city centre by October next year. I suppose that's the end of the cafe then, which always had a nice buzz and atmosphere.

A separate campaign group, In Trust for Scotland, was formed by some of the Trusts Members last year, after serious failure by the management to consult staff and Members about cash flow problems, resulting in the closure of the above mentioned properties.

Chief Executive Kate Mavor (quoted in the Times) said: "We want to ensure that our precious resources are put to the best possible use - protecting and preserving some of Scotland's most important cultural and natural heritage."

I do hope Kate and the team have made the right decision selling the Georgian building in Charlotte Square and that they sold it at the right time for the right price, unfortunately, like many others I don't have that much confidence.

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