Carnegie’s Legacy

Carnegie’s Legacy headlined the recent Letters to the Editor in, The Times (Scotland), urging the City of Edinburgh Council to revoke planning permission for the consented India Buildings hotel development under Section 65 of the Town & Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997.

Such is the momentum of concern now that the full implications of such a development, just a few metres away from Edinburgh’s Central Library’s west elevation, on ground intended for its future expansion needs from the day it was designed that no less than nineteen champions of the literary world have put their names to this plea.

The roll call of library supporters include authors, artists, publishers and performers as well as academics and historians, including Scotland’s Makar Jackie Kay (poet laureate to the sassenachs reading this):

David J Black, Rory Bremner, Ron Butlin, John Byrne, John Calder, Regi Claire, Professor Sir Tom Devine, Owen Dudley Edwards. Rosemary Goring, Jackie Kay, A L Kennedy, Val McDermid, Candia McWilliam, Alistair Moffat, Ian Rankin, James Robertson, Iain Sinclair, Alexander McCall Smith and Alan Taylor.


And, although too late to be included in this letter published 26 May 2018, Margaret Atwood, 2004’s First Muriel Spark Fellow, also backs the campaign to save Central Library #SaveECL

A fitting reminder, should we have needed one, of Edinburgh’s international reach in the sphere of modern twentieth century literature. Apologies Margaret Atwood, I was of course alluding to Dame Muriel Spark in this her centenary year.

The question now is: Will the City of Edinburgh Council and its elected members listen? And, more importantly will they act to save the land intended for Central Library, the Cowgate gap site, for Andrew Carnegie’s gift to the people of Edinburgh, its very first free public library?

We certainly hope so.


Daisy Carnegie, 13 June 2018






It has been a continuing deliberate act of vandalism against Edinburgh’s Central Library over the last 15 years… the number of professional librarians employed there has declined by well over 80%… and this from the first UNESCO City of Literature???? Its a joke! Especially when Edinburgh is the only major city in Scotland NOT to invest in a new Central Library or an upgrade of its current one!

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