Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 12:37 UK

Public first for 'secret' garden

St Andrew Square Garden
St Andrew Square Garden has undergone a 2.6m revamp

A garden in the heart of Edinburgh has been opened to the public for the first time in its 238-year history.

St Andrew Square Garden, which dates back to 1770, had, up until now, only been accessible to residents and businesses in the surrounding area.

Designed by James Craig as an integral part of his New Town Masterplan, the garden has had a 2.6m revamp.

The garden boasts a reflective pool, ageing trees have been replaced and the statue of Lord Melville restored.

New lighting has been installed to help bring the garden to life and a new pavilion coffee shop has been built.

It is hoped the garden will host a number of public events in the future.

Historic city

David Nicolson, chairman of Edinburgh City Centre Management (ECCM), the organisation that initiated the proposal to open the garden to the public, said: "The redevelopment of St Andrew Square Garden has created a new high-quality space right in the heart of Edinburgh's historic city centre.

"My thanks go to the proprietors of the offices and businesses around the square for agreeing to the development work and to Edinburgh City Council and Scottish Enterprise for providing the funding so that residents, workers and visitors to Edinburgh can now enjoy this tranquil city centre oasis."

Steve Spray, director of LaSalle Investment Management, which manages nearby Multrees Walk, said the opening of the garden provided a "beautiful public space" for everyone to enjoy in the heart of the city centre.

"I think it will enhance Edinburgh's attractiveness as a world class visitor destination."

Jenny Dawe, Edinburgh City Council leader, said that "good quality" public space is so important to the fabric of the city.


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