Forth Bridge World Heritage Site status

We’re delighted to have been part of the team that successfully took forward the bid for World Heritage status for the Forth Bridge.  The success gives the city its second world heritage site, the other being the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh.

Responsibility for looking after the bridge will remain with Network Rail but the City of Edinburgh Council and Fife Council will have responsibility for ensuring that appropriate planning policies are in place for its protection.  This will not involve a great deal of additional controls as the bridge is already listed at category A – the highest category of listing.

At one level world heritage site status brings international recognition and a boost for tourism.  However, at another level, if managed properly, it can be a boost for the local economies and an encouragement for traditional Scottish engineering skills.  It can help to raise awareness and re-engage people with their environment as the writing competition with schoolchildren showed.

Thanks to this, one of Scotland’s most recognisable icons looks set for another 125 years.

World Heritage Day 18 April 2015

Saturday 18 April 2015 is World Heritage Day and this year the theme is the value of heritage.  World Heritage Day is celebrated around the globe to raise awareness of our diverse cultural and natural heritage and why World Heritage Sites are of outstanding value.

World Heritage Site day poster
World Heritage Site day poster

There are a number of events planned to mark the occasion with the Scottish Storytelling Centre hosting an afternoon of activities on Saturday 18 April to help you get to know more about all five World Heritage Sites in Scotland.  You could also take the opportunity to follow one of the Edinburgh World Heritage walking trails to discover the hidden gems of the Old and New Towns.

There are more details on Historic Scotland’s website about World Heritage Day and the other Scottish sites they help manage.

If you use social media you can follow and join the conversation from around the world using #worldheritageday

Forth Bridge short story competition

A short story writing competition for Queensferry and Inverkeithing High Schools is one of the projects that stemmed from the Forth Bridge world heritage site bid.  As part of getting people involved in the bid, schoolchildren were asked to write a short story featuring the bridge.  A shortlist from both schools was judged by writers Ed Hollis and Keith Gray.

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Last Monday the winners were announced during an event at the Edinburgh Book Festival where the children and their families listened to a discussion between the judges chaired by Sam Kelly from Napier University’s Creative Writing School.  Among the prizes for the winners is a boat trip around the bridges, signed books from the judges and Network Rail, and participation in a two day creative writing workshop run by Napier University.

Have a read of the winning stories.

Unstably Stable

The Two Groups Bridge Story

The Brigger

The Bridge

Story of a Survivor

She Kept Going

If Bridges Could Talk

Ghost Brother


The bridge

Flying the flag for World Heritage Day

For those of you with a keen eye, you may have noticed that the ‘Celebrating World Heritage’ flag is flying from the City Chambers on the Royal Mile for the second year running.

City Chambers. World Heritage Site flag
City Chambers. World Heritage Site flag

Friday 18 April is World Heritage Day. It is celebrated around the globe to help raise the profile of World Heritage Sites and make people aware of our diverse cultural and natural heritage and how these sites are of outstanding value.

‘Shared Heritage’ is this year’s theme in Edinburgh and an event was held at the Royal College of Physicians last night which looked at the benefits that World Heritage can bring to everyone.  The speakers were Sue Bruce, Chief Executive of the City of Edinburgh Council, and Lloyd Anderson, Director of the British Council Scotland.  The event was a great opportunity to hear the Chief Executive’s thoughts on how we manage the challenges as a World Heritage city and was followed by a lively question and answer session.