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Historic environment protection

5 May 2010

Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop has introduced the Historic Environment Amendment Bill (Scotland) 2010 to parliament.

The Bill, published on Wednesday, will amend provisions in the existing Listed Building and Conservation Areas (Scotland) Act 1997, the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 and the Historic Buildings and Ancient Monuments Act 1953. It will:

  • Harmonise aspects of the listing and scheduling systems and align these systems more closely with Scotland’s modernised planning regime
  • Improve the ability of central and local government to work with developers and other partners
  • Improve the capacity to deal with urgent threats and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of deterrents  
  • Help to ensure that Historic Scotland is able to meet the expectations of visitors in the 21st century

The Minister said: “Scotland has a unique and irreplaceable historic environment, which is intrinsic to our sense of place and our strong cultural identity.  It  plays a large role in helping to attract visitors to Scotland and makes a significant contribution to the economy, directly generating 41,000 Full Time Equivalent jobs and making a £2.3bn contribution to Scotland’s Gross Value Added.

“This Amendment Bill is about the nuts and bolts of our heritage legislation. We know from our extensive consultation that the existing Acts generally function well, but as with everything, we can learn from our experiences over the years and update them.

“The Bill builds on what has been successful in the past and is accompanied by a wider programme of change and renewal in the way Historic Scotland undertakes its day to day work.”

A draft of the Bill went out to consultation between May and August 2009 with responses coming from a variety of heritage, conservation and planning bodies supporting the changes.

Dr Simon Gilmour, leading on the Bill within the umbrella body BEFS (Built Environment Forum Scotland), welcomed the draft Bill, highlighting that “members of BEFS strongly endorse the provisions set out in the Bill, which will strengthen the ability to effectively and sustainably manage our heritage.   

“It will simplify processes without weakening controls, and close some loopholes that presently allow unacceptable threats to the historic environment.”


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.

  • Built Environment Forum Scotland brings together non-governmental organisations with an interest in Scotland’s historic and built environment. Further information can be found at: www.befs.org.uk.


For further information


Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768100
lesley.brown@scotland.gsi.gov.uk