Edinburgh is set to benefit from increased economic and cultural links after being accepted into the historic Hanseatic League.
The Hanseatic League was created in the 14th century to protect economic interests and diplomatic privileges in the cities and countries along the northern European trade routes that merchants visited.
Edinburgh’s connection to the League comes through the port of Leith which was Scotland’s most important port for more than 300 years and provided links with much of mainland Europe from the 12th century onwards.
The capital’s membership of the league will result in increased civic, cultural and economic links with the 183 cities spread across 16 countries in northern Europe.
Contact has already been made with local schools, libraries, museums and galleries in Edinburgh about promoting the long-standing Hanseatic cultural and historical links.
Lord Provost, Donald Wilson, said: “As a member of the Leith Trust I have been a great supporter of this initiative. As well as the economic benefits for Leith and of course also for Edinburgh this is an opportunity for the city to show its commitment to the development of Leith as Edinburgh’s international port and as a strong community in its own right.
“The Hanseatic League has had a major historical influence on this city with Leith being one of its feeder ports and attempts to reconstruct this network in modern times will therefore have both civic and economic benefits.”
Herr Bernd Saxe, President of the Hanseatic League, said: “I am delighted that Edinburgh has been accepted into the Hanseatic League as it has a rich maritime heritage. I am looking forward to promoting the many cultural and economic links the city has with its northern European neighbours.”