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Strategy paves way for Historic Environment

5 March 2014

Scotland’s first ever strategy for the historic environment has been published.  The strategy sets out, for the first time, a vision of how our historic environment can be understood, valued, cared for and enjoyed.

The publication of Our Place in Time comes as Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop laid a Bill before Parliament which will transform how Scotland’s historic places are managed and protected for the future.

The Historic Environment Scotland Bill will bring together Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).

The new body will be called Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and will be expected to play a key role in delivering the strategy, developed in partnership with stakeholders including the Built Environment Forum Scotland, the National Trust for Scotland, the Society of Antiquaries, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) and others.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Scotland has a very rich heritage and historic environment which is all around us, whether as physical evidence of our past, such as historic buildings, monuments, shipwrecks and industrial sites or the less tangible things which we link to them such as stories, poetry and folklore. It is a vital cultural asset that helps tell our nation’s story, binding and connecting our past to our present and our future.

“Scotland’s heritage needs careful management based on a clear sense of direction which is grounded in well-researched knowledge and expertise. This is what the new strategy aims to deliver. Our Place in Time sets out a vision for everyone across the sector, building on existing strengths to unlock the true potential of our historic places.  

“Combining the skills, expertise and professional experience of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS, HES will take a lead role in protecting and managing Scotland’s rich historic heritage to ensure it can be enjoyed now and in the future.”  

Chairman of the National Trust for Scotland, Sir Kenneth Calman, said:  

“Conserving our historic buildings and landscapes is a challenge for all of Scotland and the strategy is a good opportunity to pool our knowledge, identify priorities and collaborate more effectively.  National Trust for Scotland looks forward to working with others in the sector to deliver our shared ambitions.”

Councillor Stephen Hagan, Cosla’s spokesman for Development, Economy and Sustainability, said:

“Local government has a crucial role in managing and promoting the historic environment, as a positive element for individuals and their local communities alike.

“Cosla has been pleased to be closely involved in the development of “Our Place in Time”, which sets a bold and inspiring vision for us all. We look forward to continuing our work in partnership to deliver the strategy, as the Historic Environment Scotland Bill progresses through Parliament and beyond.”


Notes to Editors



  • The Strategy was developed in consultation with a wide range of stakeholders including the Built Environment Forum Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, Building Preservations Trust, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), the Society of Antiquaries and others.

  • It resulted from a review of Historic Environment Policy in 2012. Following wide- ranging discussions around issues such as promotion and management of the historic environment, the Review culminated in a day session of nearly 70 stakeholders from across the Sector.

  • All agreed an overarching strategy was required for the sector, which set out a common vision and priorities for the historic environment, so it continues to deliver real and increasing benefits to the people of Scotland.

  • Following parliamentary process, the new Historic Environment Scotland body is expected to be launched in 2015.  It will be established in two stages, with the inauguration of the body corporate and the Board appointed in April 2015 and the  transfer of operational powers to the new body in October 2015.  





For further information


John MacNeil
Media Relations Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827
john.macneil@scotland.gsi.gov.uk