£6.6m funding for conservation of historic sites
Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop has today confirmed a £6.6 million capital boost to support investment in conservation work, repairs and visitor facilities at several of Scotland’s iconic heritage sites and monuments.
The announcement follows the publication today of the most comprehensive conservation assessment ever undertaken on the properties in care of Scottish Ministers.
Commissioned by Ms Hyslop, the study provides for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the condition of more than 300 properties managed by Historic Environment Scotland on behalf of Ministers, and sets out the work required to address the impacts of deterioration and climate change.
The report estimates conservation and repair work to the value of £65m is required over ten years to restore and protect heritage sites for future generations. The additional funding announced today will enable conservation work to start at priority sites including Doune, Stirling and Edinburgh Castles during 2017 – the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.
Ms Hyslop said: “From Doune Castle to Skara Brae, these iconic buildings and monuments represent more than 6,000 years of Scottish history and include a number of internationally significant sites that attract thousands of visitors every year.
“But by their nature they are often difficult to care for and require specialist expertise to repair. Adding to this challenge, it is well understood that climate change is speeding up the natural process of decay at heritage sites across the world.
“Historic Environment Scotland’s new conservation study gives us a detailed understanding of the impact on our own heritage sites and tells us what is required to protect and preserve them for the future.
“The funding I have announced today underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to protecting and promoting our rich history and heritage and will enable conservation work to begin at several of our treasured heritage sites.”
Dr David Mitchell, director of conservation at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “This report is a milestone for Historic Environment Scotland a year on from the merger between Historic Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.
“It is a significant piece of work, unprecedented for this estate, that will provide a basis for investment decisions over the next decade and determine how we will manage over 300 of Scotland’s most cherished places and associated collections for future generations.”