Clark Contracts' Construction East division has started on site refurbishing many of the original features, installing new heating systems and electrics and reinstating the original frontage. The work is scheduled for completion in February 2012.
Once complete, Edinburgh World Heritage, the charity that conserves, protects and promotes the city's world heritage site, plans to relocate from Charlotte Square to Acheson House. The Council has plans to integrate Acheson House with the Museum of Edinburgh, to form a Museums Hub.
This will be achieved by upgrading exhibition spaces and improving visitor services in the Museum of Edinburgh and creating a link between the Museum and Acheson House, where a new visitor attraction will be installed.
Gordon Cunningham, managing director, Clark Contracts, said, "Over a number of years, we have developed extensive experience working on listed buildings and we very much look forward to completing both of these buildings, that make such an important contribution to Edinburgh's heritage".
Councillor Deidre Brock, Culture and Leisure Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "Acheson House is one of the Old Town's most historic buildings and our long term vision is to bring it back to life as part of a Museums Hub devoted to charting the fascinating development of Scotland's Capital city. We're delighted to be working with Edinburgh World Heritage and Clark Contracts on the sympathetic conservation of this A-listed 17th century building, which will help guarantee it a suitably prominent role in Edinburgh's 21st century cultural infrastructure."
Founded in 1978, Clark Contracts has grown to employ over 200 staff at offices in Edinburgh and Paisley, covering the East and West of Scotland. Around 80% of the company's work is repeat business and six out of ten customers have worked with Clark Contracts for five years or more.
Built in 1633 for Sir Archibald Acheson, Secretary of State for King Charles 1, Acheson House has lain empty since 1991, when it was last used by the Scottish Crafts Centre, and has been on the Buildings at Risk register since 2000.