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We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

Historic Scotland and RCAHMS

This section contains all the relevant information and news on the merger between Historic Scotland and RCAHMS (Royal Commission of Ancient and Historical Monuments).

Historic Scotland & RCAHMS Transition Programme - External Update - August 2012 (Next Steps)

Working Together to Secure Scotland's Heritage

Following the Cabinet Secretary’s announcement of a preferred option that RCAHMS and Historic Scotland should merge, we want to inform you about how both organisations will work through the process and advise how you can keep up to date with the programme of activity following Ms Hyslop’s recommendation.

RCAHMS and Historic Scotland are both well established bodies with different but complementary remits. Bringing them together will not be either easy or quick. One thing we are very clear about is that this is not a takeover of a small body by a larger one.

Instead it is a coming together of two respected organisations to form an organisation that maintains Historic Scotland’s role and RCAHMS’ functions to survey and analyse the built environment, as well as conserve and make accessible their established collections.

While we know that this change will create some uncertainty for our staff and stakeholders, it also gives us the potential to secure Scotland’s built heritage for future generations.

First action

Our priority for the remainder of this year is the development of a business case for the proposed changes. While the detail of that case has yet to be worked out, we will start by setting out a clear vision for what the new body can achieve including the principles, values and outcomes it will deliver for Scotland’s historic environment.

Most importantly, we have already agreed that we will work together on developing the business case and will both be sharing the responsibility and accountability to Ministers for its development.

We will work with staff across both organisations and are organising regular staff briefings and communications channels for a two-way discussion forum. Likewise, with the wider stakeholder community, you can follow our progress on Historic Scotland’s website and RCAHMS’ website.

We will soon be launching dedicated pages with updates on this process and through which you will be able to contact us directly. In addition, we will be exploring opportunities for stakeholders to help shape the outcome by participating in events where we can discuss with you our next steps.

The announcement of the development of a business case for merger between RCAHMS and Historic Scotland takes place in the context of the Historic Environment Policy review which has just begun.

In order to benefit from the additional opportunity afforded by considering future strategy and policy alongside the shape and purpose of the merged body, we will ensure that the two processes are both dovetailed and complementary.

We believe this is an opportunity to build upon the synergies between RCAHMS and Historic Scotland as well as providing job security for our staff and developing a long term strategy for the historic environment, ensuring Scotland is well equipped to face the challenges of the future and to continue to celebrate and champion our great cultural heritage.

We hope that you will work with us over the coming months and years to achieve this.

Ian Walford – Acting Chief Executive, Historic Scotland
Diana Murray – Chief Executive, RCAHMS

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Historic Environment Scotland Board
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