Original Edinburgh is a collaborative business improvement project which empowers business to take a leading role in the success of Edinburgh’s iconic Old Town. We work together to deliver a varied package of investment to create a unique cultural, retail and hospitality experience, which optimises the use of our public space, for workers, the local community and visitors.

Bringing together the very best of Edinburgh’s rich history and heritage with its creativity and longevity, the  Old Town is the heart of Scotland's capital city and a bridge between its enlightened past and dynamic future.

The home of the Scottish enlightenment, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Old Town has a compelling cultural offering, attracting four million visitors each year. As well as providing a home for Scotland’s top tourist attractions, the Old Town features many museums, libraries and other cultural centres.

A mixture of niche and specialist products, featuring the very best of Scotland has to offer, makes the Old Town a unrivalled retail experience and a thriving place for people to live, work, visit and do business.

Our vibrant night time economy, characterised by a blend of traditional and contemporary music, food and drink, is testament to Scotland’s global reputation and our wide variety of hospitality offers makes the Old Town a warm welcome for visitors and homely surroundings for residents.

Original Edinburgh’s purpose is to: deliver a common vision that will promote and market the Old Town as a premium cultural, retail and hospitality experience; enhance and maintain our public space for workers, residents and visitors; and, provide a single voice to represent and advocate the interests of our local businesses.

An improvement district is an innovative business partnership model which allows businesses to pool their resources and collectively invest in improvements to the local economy. The return on this investment, beyond what can be provided by government or local authorities, is realised through better business outcomes.

In 2018, we engaged with over 200 Old Town businesses through a survey, and visited over 400, to discuss gather their views on the vision and programme of work for the Old Town BID. In addition, we have worked with numerous other business associations, residents groups and community council, noting their crucial role in the overall fabric of the Old Town.

Our objectives:

  1. Create a strong single voice to lobby the City of Edinburgh Council

  2. Provide informative communication on all business-related matters

  3. Improve the quality of experience of the public realm for workers, residents and visitors, as befitting a UNESCO World Heritage status

  4. Promote the Old Town as a place to work, live, visit, study and invest

  5. Create a strong and aspirational identity, sense of ‘place’ and global appeal

Original Edinburgh Steering Group 


James McGregor, The Royal McGregor – Chairman 

Andrew McRae, Museum Context – Vice Chairman 

Fawns Reid, Fabhatrix – Treasurer 

Kat Brogan, Mercat Tours 

Manuela Calchini, Visit Scotland 

Lezley Marion Cameron, Councillor 

Kate Campbell, Councillor 

Martin Clarke, Edinburgh Woollen Mill 

Aga Firat, Cockburn Café 

Rachel Gregson, Bruce Group Scotland 

Fiona Rankin, Edinburgh World Heritage 

Jocelyne Fleming – Project Manager 

Recent Meeting Minutes 

July 2019 (Meeting 2)

July 2019 (Meeting 1)

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019 (Meeting 1)

April 2019 (Meeting 2)

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019