The £3 million restoration of Panmure House, the historic home of Adam Smith, has been given the go ahead. The decision has been welcomed by the building's owner, the Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University.
Panmure House is the home of modern economics...I am delighted that we can now realise our vision for this historic building
The School bought Panmure House from Edinburgh City Council in 2008 with ambitious plans to invest in its restoration and development as a centre for economics teaching and research, and as a venue for meetings and events in the heart of the Old Town.
The architect's designs for the £3m project were subject to a long negotiation with the City Council and Historic Scotland, which culminated in a public inquiry in March.
The green light means that Edinburgh Business School can now start work on its plans for the house, which has stood empty for 4 years. These plans include public access and the recreation of the link to its illustrious past, when it was the house in which, during the late 18th century, Adam Smith would regularly meet to debate with contemporaries, rivals and admirers such as David Hume, Adam Ferguson and James Hutton, all proponents of the leading ideas of the Scottish Enlightenment.
Edinburgh Business School is co-ordinating a global fund-raising scheme to support the development. The Director of the School, Professor Keith Lumsden says: "Panmure House is the home of modern economics, and when it came up for sale by the Council I saw it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve and restore a key part of Scotland's heritage. I am delighted that we can now realise our vision for this historic building."
Panmure House is situated at Lochend Close, Canongate, just a few steps from the Royal Mile and close to the famous Canongate Kirk, where Adam Smith is buried.