One of five winners of the Collaboration Prize, Edinburgh’s Netherbow aims to create a literature hub for Scotland on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile.

Founded by an alliance of six cultural organisations, it will achieve this by developing the existing honeycomb of buildings, gardens, closes and streetscapes in and around the Scottish Storytelling Centre and John Knox House to create a physical presence for Edinburgh’s literature and Scotland’s culture.

Its role will be to increase the promotion of literature, support collaboration between literary and cultural organisations and improve Edinburgh’s international profile.

Here, founding member, Ali Bowden, director of Edinburgh UNESCO City of Literature Trust, explains how they developed their idea, what the next steps are for the consortium and how they will benefit from winning the Collaboration Prize.

The literary sector has a strong track record regarding collaboration – it was how we secured the UNESCO City of Literature status for Edinburgh in 2004. As such, the various partners of Edinburgh’s Netherbow have worked together over the years on a number of projects, and the opportunity to develop the area is something that has recently evolved through those discussions and partnerships.

Our plan is to create a new, highly visible, focal point for Edinburgh’s literature and Scotland’s culture, resulting in the provision of a comprehensive information, education and interpretation centre for the City of Literature.

By working together, Edinburgh Netherbow’s members (which include the City of Literature Trust, Sandeman House, TRACS, Scottish Book Trust, the Saltire Society and The List) can promote literature, support further collaboration between literary and cultural organisations and help grow the capital’s international profile through engagement in literature.

Winning the Collaboration Prize will definitely enable us to take our partnership to the next stage. By providing the perfect combination of cash and business expertise it will give us the support we need at this critical point in the project’s development.

We are working on various aspects of the project at present but the next key step will be creating a detailed business plan and that work will be supported by Scottish Enterprise.

For more information about the Scottish Enterprise Collaboration Prize visit the website.

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