A rundown historic building in a cemetery in a Scottish city is to be renovated and used as an events and exhibition space.

The watchtower was built to deter graverobbing to satisfy city medical schools in the 19th century.

Now the at-risk building is to be refurbished and reused under plans put forward by the City of Edinburgh Council.

READ MORE: Plan for 500 new homes in Scottish city brought forward

A report to go before councillors on the city's culture and communities committee this week shows the repair cost to be between £150,000 to £175,000.

"The New Calton Burial Ground watchtower is a B-listed building owned by the council that is currently in poor condition," it states. "This report recommends that committee agree in principle that officers proceed with ... the refurbishment of the watchtower, to deliver urgent and necessary repairs to the watchtower, including works to allow occasional use of the watchtower’s ground floor as an events/exhibition space."

READ MORE: Homes in landmark former hospital to be put on market for sale

The council added: "The watchtower is a three-storey circular sandstone building dating from 1820, located on the western side of the New Calton Burial Ground in Edinburgh city centre.

"The New Calton Hill Burial Ground straddles parts of both the New Town and Old Town Conservation Areas.

"From the early 18th century to the early 19th century, graverobbing to satisfy the demands of Edinburgh’s medical schools was commonplace."

READ MORE: Whisky bar in heart of Scottish tourism town for sale

It continued: "The watchtower was therefore constructed within the burial ground to guard against this practice. The watchtower was occupied as a dwelling until the 1950s, when it fell into disuse.

"The first floor of the watchtower subsequently collapsed. Prior to 2013 (when  it was partially repaired), the watchtower’s condition was reported to be poor, with failing external fabric and badly fire damaged interiors."

The structure is currently on the Buildings At Risk Register. Historic Environment Scotland said: “The watch tower is a good example of its type, positioned at the highest point of the graveyard for maximum effect. The graveyard is also notable for its distinctive terraced plan.”

The New Calton Cemetery was planned in 1817 and opened to the public in 1820.

The University of Edinburgh records the practice of graverobbing: "The best-known of the 'Resurrection Men' were William Burke and William Hare, who took the grisly practice one step further.

"The pair murdered at least 16 people during the period 1827-1828, selling the cadavers to Dr Robert Knox's anatomy school."