A vision for our future
Edinburgh Biomes, the most significant project in the Garden's history, will protect RBGE's unique and globally important plant collection for the future.
The Edinburgh Biomes project, which has won the support of city council planning, aims to secure the Garden’s work for future generations and provide a spectacular new visitor experience for the public. It will bring together RBGE’s research, horticulture, education and infrastructure facilities and significantly restore and rebuild its Glasshouses.
Arguably the most ambitious undertaking of the Garden’s 349-year history, Edinburgh Biomes will avoid the catastrophic loss of up to 4,000 species in the public and research glasshouses, and deliver world-leading facilities that will protect the work of this national institution for the future.
Details of the project come at a time when the Garden’s existing Glasshouse facilities - including the Grade A listed Victorian Palm Houses, and the 1960’s 'front-range' and research Glasshouses - require extensive refurbishment. It will ensure the Glasshouses continue to provide a safe environment for the Garden’s plant collection.
Comprising over 13,500 plant species, RBGE’s collection includes many plants that are endangered or extinct in their native habitats.
The Garden has now won the backing of city councillors to proceed with this £70m initiative, and will continue to work with Ministers on the next stages, which will include a fundraising campaign.
For visitors, the most visible change will be the addition of a stunning new Glasshouse linking to the Front Range houses. Its initial purpose will be to provide temporary accommodation for the thousands of plants being decanted for the refurbishment of the public Glasshouses. Ultimately, it will become the point of welcome to a considerably rejuvenated Glasshouse Experience, taking visitors through the modernist Front Range and Victorian Temperate and Tropical Palm Houses.
Interior view of the New Glasshouse looking North towards the existing Front Range.
Interior view of the New Glasshouse looking South.
Planned to take shape through a progression of stages over seven years, Edinburgh Biomes will include new research facilities dedicated to combating the increasing numbers of plant pathogens damaging the environment, commerce and gardens big and small. There will be new education facilities to engage with students from primary school through to PhD, locally and around the world. Central to these improvements will be an efficient, cost effective energy centre, significantly reducing the Garden’s carbon emissions and a new plant health suite which will provide a safe bio-secure propagation environment.
Following initial public consultations, and having addressed questions raised during the planning process, RBGE will continue to provide regular updates for the local community and everyone interested in developments: both in the public areas and behind-the-scenes.
“The need for our pioneering work has never been greater, be it through cutting-edge science, impactful education or inspiring people with the beauty and value of natural capital. Edinburgh Biomes is crucial to achieve this and the project needs the widest possible support if we are to secure our place as a leader in plant science and education, horticulture and ensure the astonishing Living Collection thrives for future generations. Edinburgh Biomes will engage people of all backgrounds and nationalities, inspiring them to be part of the protection of plant life that sustains and delights us.”
Regius Keeper Simon Milne MBE
More information will follow as it becomes available.
[Published on 2 August 2019]
- Held on 27 November 2018, 10 and 31 January 2019
- Information presented at the final Public Consultation (31 January 2019)
- Approved on 31 July 2019 for Nursery and Garden