Tartan gift shops could become a rarity on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile under new council plans. City chiefs want to improve the look of the Capital’s most famous thoroughfare.
The city council, owner of the majority of the shops on the street, is planning to control exactly what sort of tenants it will allow. The move comes after complaints about the number of souvenir shops in the area.
Graham Birse, deputy chief executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, told The Scotsman: “This is long overdue. This is the pre-eminent tourism street in Scotland and the street all visitors – however long they spend in the city – want to walk.
"I don't know how it has happened but suddenly there is almost only one type of retail offer on that street; the ubiquitous tartan shop."
The council owns around 35 of the Royal Mile shops outright and part owns a further seven in a joint venture with Edinburgh Development Initiative. The move has been put forward in a new physical regeneration plan.
The plan said: "There is, for instance, an opportunity to improve the retail offer on the Royal Mile, where the council as owner of many of the retail units could be more proactive in managing the look and product."
Hogmanay street party organiser Pete Irvine told The Herald: “The Royal Mile is a disgrace, especially at the top end, which is where all the tourists flock. We should insist these shops sell high-quality products made in Scotland.”