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Celebrating heritage along Scotland’s waterways

16 August 2013

Historic Scotland and Scottish Canals are to embark on a new project to evaluate the buildings along Scotland’s canals – eighty buildings will be assessed to see if they meet the criteria for listing.

Scotland’s network of canals stretch 137 miles from coast to coast and attract millions of visitors each year. The project, which has just begun, will also review around 40 listed buildings in Scottish Canals’ ownership along the Forth and Clyde and Union canals in the Lowlands, the Crinan Canal in Argyll and the Caledonian Canal in the Highlands.

The review of the listed buildings associated with the canals will also help to shape the implementation of Scottish Canals’ heritage strategy, which lays out the organisation’s 25-year vision to preserve the cultural and natural assets of the waterways through positive heritage management.

Elizabeth McCrone, Head of Listing and Designed Landscapes at Historic Scotland said:
“We are excited to announce this project with Scottish Canals.  Scotland’s canal heritage spans the centuries and an enormous variety of building types - from industrial to domestic such as Bona Lighthouse at Loch Ness, based on designs by the renowned engineer, Thomas Telford; Applecross Street Workshops, the oldest surviving canal related building in Scotland and the Union Inn on the Union Canal in Falkirk.  These are just a few of the 40 listed buildings owned by Scottish Canals along our waterways.

“At the end of the project we will have an in-depth understanding of the relative importance of Scottish Canals’ estate and the best of these canal buildings will be recognised through listing.  We hope to celebrate the results of our findings in a joint publication.”
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Dr Sabina Strachan, Heritage Team Leader for Scottish Canals, said:
“We’re delighted to be working with Historic Scotland on such an exciting project, as the vast majority of canal-side properties are a vital part of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage and contributes to the unique character of the nation’s waterways.

“This project will enable the partners to better understand the importance of the canal buildings in our care. This project will complement baseline condition surveys and together form a strong basis as we implement our Heritage Strategy.”

The results of the project will be announced next year.

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.
  • Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of five Scottish canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel. For more information, visit www.scottishcanals.co.uk
  • The Forth & Clyde, Union, Caledonian and Crinan canals are recognised as Scheduled Monuments and attract 22 million visitations per year.
  • Scottish Canals’ Heritage Strategy, which is available at www.scottishcanals.co.uk, sets out 20 objectives across four strategic aims – conservation and management; participation and learning; access and interpretation; and sustainability.
  • Register for media release email alerts from www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/news. If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email hs.website@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
  • 2013 is the Year of Natural Scotland, inspiring our people and our visitors to celebrate Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty, landscapes and biodiversity as Scotland prepares to welcome the world in 2014 and beyond. Find out more about Scotland’s outstanding natural beauty at www.visitscotland.com/natural

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For further information


Laura Shaw
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866
laura.shaw@scotland.gsi.gov.uk