New heritage strategy places trio of ambitions at its heart

THE Scottish Government agency primarily involved in Scotland’s heritage has issued a new, five-year strategy which has – quote – “[the] transition to net zero [carbon emissions], resilient communities and places, and the wellbeing economy… at [its] heart”.

Says Historic Environment Scotland, here, of ‘Our Past, Our Future’: “The strategy – which builds on the previous strategy, ‘Our Place in Time’ – is intended to provide a roadmap for the next five years and highlights the sector’s shared ambition to make a responsible contribution to Scotland’s economy and use the historic environment to improve people’s wellbeing.

“It also has a strong focus on the transition to ‘net zero’ alongside a forward-looking ambition to empower communities and build a wellbeing economy.”

The announcement goes on to say: “Scotland’s historic environment plays a key role in the country’s economy, sustaining 68,000 full-time equivalent jobs and generating £4.4 billion per year pre-COVID pandemic.

“These numbers are expected to increase by an estimated 10,000 new jobs over the next decade to maintain and adapt Scotland’s traditional building stock.

“The strategy also sets out the goal of further retrofitting and putting Scotland’s traditional buildings back into use; estimates put these buildings at representing 19 per cent of Scotland’s housing stock, 33 per cent of retail space, and almost 50 per cent of spaces used by the public sector.”

As well as with the Scottish Government and consultation with the general public, the document follows direct discussions with Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS), National Trust for Scotland, National Lottery Heritage Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland, Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, Historic Houses Scotland, Historic Churches Scotland, Volunteer Scotland and Scotland Historic Buildings Trust/Heritage Trust Network.

Pictured: Christina McKelvie, Scottish Government Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development (centre), flanked (left) by Ailsa Macfarlane, director of Built Environment Forum Scotland and Alex Paterson, CEO of Historic Environment Scotland, Picture credit: Peter Devlin, for Historic Environment Scotland

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