Our vision is to be a new kind of City Observatory for Edinburgh bringing people together around innovative art and iconic heritage.

Donate to help us raise the final funds.


Work has now begun to redevelop the A-listed City Observatory complex on Calton Hill. By early 2018, the Observatory will be open freely to the public for the first time in its history. In partnership with the City of Edinburgh Council, Collective will save the site, which is on the Buildings at Risk Register and become custodians of this important piece of our nation’s heritage. The Observatory complex will become a world-class contemporary visual arts space, commissioning important new work by local and international practitioners.

Historically the City Observatory complex was a place to house telescopes and observe the stars, but observatories are also places to view, to reflect upon a city, to bring people together; laboratories to research and places to follow academic pursuits. Collective are developing a new kind of City Observatory for Edinburgh, encouraging engagement, connecting with the locality through the acts of looking, thinking and importantly producing in relation to the historic culture of the site.


Keep up to date with the latest news about the City Observatory redevelopment project through our project blog and our latest press releases.

03.05.17 – New gallery and restaurant walls in place
13.03.17 – Collective's new home takes shape
26.10.16 – Ground breaking moment at the City Observatory
03.10.16 – 30 days to go until building work begins
10.06.16 – EWH provides over £300,000 to Collective for the restoration of the City Observatory
07.10.15 – Plans Approved for City Observatory Redevelopment
24.09.15 – Collective secures second round support from Heritage Lottery Fund
15.04.15 – City Observatory Plans Revealed
23.08.14 – Collective secures first round support from Heritage Lottery Fund for City Observatory restoration

Contact us

If you would like to find out more or discuss ways to support Collective and help save this historic site, please contact:

Lori Anderson
Head of Development & Enterprise
City Observatory & City Dome
38 Calton Hill
Edinburgh, EH5 7AA
Telephone: +44 (0)131 556 1264
Email: [email protected]

Donate now

Collective is in the final stage of fundraising for this £4m project and have so far secured the support of key funders including the Heritage Lottery Fund, the City of Edinburgh Council, Creative Scotland, Edinburgh World Heritage as well as other trusts and foundations. View our supporters.

Donate now to this project which will not only help us save this internationally significant heritage site, it will allow us to continue our work developing and delivering new exhibitions, commissions and improve the environment of Calton Hill.


All levels of donations from individuals and corporate sponsors are welcomed through our Buy-a-Brick scheme which reflects the different elements and features of the William Henry Playfair City Observatory. Gift Aid and different payment options including installments are available.

  • Virtual Brick – £25—£250
  • Sandstone Brick – £250
  • Sandstone Capital – £500
  • Plaster Column – £1,000
  • Sandstone Column – £2,500
  • Sandstone Portico – £5,000
  • Astronomer Royal Plaque – £10,000
  • Observatory Dome – £25,000
  • Observatory Library – £50,000

Donations between £25 and £250 are thanked and named on our website. Donations between £250 and £5,000 in addition will be thanked in our donors book and invited to exclusive events.

Donations over £5,000 will receive all the above and other bespoke benefits – please contact us to begin a conversation about bespoke benefits.

Text giving

Text COLL38 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070. (Donations will usually incur your standard text message fee.)