Funding has now been made available to Edinburgh Business School to undertake the final phase of the Panmure House Project.
This will enable the project to be completed and for Adam Smith’s Edinburgh home off the Canongate to open as a living memorial to the father of modern economics and a celebration of the Scottish Enlightenment.
A competitive tendering exercise is finally scheduled for January. The successful contractor and his team will start work on site – at long last - in early April. Completion of the building works and the fitting out of the building are programmed for early autumn of 2017 - nine years after being acquired.
Adam Smith himself would have marvelled at how long it has taken just to get this far. But why fret about speed after 300 years? It’s Edinburgh, after all.
The contractors’ first task will be to take down the 1950’s concrete Platt and uplift the setts to the small inner courtyard. This will enable archaeologists to start investigation of the area immediately to the south of the original 17th century house.
This should reveal additional information on the buildings that predated the construction of Panmure House in the 1690s.
The excavations will enable the existing lower ground floor to be extended into the southern courtyard, making additional space for a reception/interpretation area and a new kitchen and cloakrooms.
Discussions continue with Edinburgh City Council on improvements to Lochend Close, hopefully starting with a clear-out of the wheelie bins. The project should help revitalise a long neglected area of the Canongate vandalised by modern architecture and social engineering.