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Historic Scotland to launch Corporate Plan

28 February 2012

Historic Scotland tomorrow (Wednesday, February 29th) launches an ambitious three-year Corporate Plan, showcasing innovative major projects alongside proposals to sustain economic growth, protect the nation’s heritage and tackle climate change.

The Plan will be launched at “Our Historic Environment: Sharing the Vision” , the Historic Scotland Conference in Glasgow, where over 130 delegates will discuss issues and opportunities across the historic environment sector.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “Historic Scotland has been achieving remarkable results in recent years. In 2011 the agency recorded its most successful year ever for visitor numbers, and this year it is on track to celebrate another record season.

“Every penny earned by the agency is re-invested in the historic environment – in the last ten years, more than £100 million of grant awards have been invested in historic buildings and archaeology, generating an additional investment of over £500 million.

“As we launch the new Historic Scotland three-year Corporate Plan today, the Conference will recognise and celebrate these successes. With Historic Scotland developing new projects including the Bannockburn Visitor Centre, in partnership with The National Trust for Scotland, plus the Scottish Ten project and the new National Conservation Centre, the agency is set for even greater achievements.”

In her opening address, the Cabinet Secretary will tell delegates that Historic Scotland has already welcomed over three million visitors to its properties this financial year.

She will say that the new Corporate Plan promotes Scotland’s rich heritage, opening up opportunities for investment and contributing to economic growth. Championing the historic environment is central to the agency’s mission, and Ms Hyslop will emphasise the importance of protecting, maintaining and conserving this unique resource.

She will explain that Historic Scotland provides safeguards through designations, applying protection through the listing and scheduling of buildings and monuments.

Protection also extends to Historic Scotland’s critical role in the planning process, and the Cabinet Secretary will show how the agency is a driving force in planning reform, and leads on capacity building for local authorities, as well as developing skills through practical training sessions.

Training activities also form a key strand of Historic Scotland’s strategy to secure the future of traditional building skills, and Ms Hyslop will highlight a new stone masonry training facility that is set to open at Forth Valley College, Stirling, in August.

Safeguarding the future of the nation’s built heritage is at the heart of Historic Scotland’s conservation work, and central to this work is the integration of climate change awareness in the development of conservation, building and repair projects.

As the agency works towards one of the most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world, the Cabinet Secretary will show how Historic Scotland is taking practical steps towards reducing its carbon footprint.

Ms Hyslop added: “In all its elements – which evolved from an extensive consultation exercise dating back to 2010, the new Corporate Plan aims to help Historic Scotland contribute to a successful future for everyone in Scotland.”

Also addressing the Conference are VisitScotland chairman Dr Mike Cantlay and climate change expert Professor Peter Brimblecombe, who will join Historic Scotland’s own experts to discuss the key messages and wider issues of the new Corporate Plan. Dr Cantlay will examine how the historic environment can contribute to Scotland’s themed years, including the current Year of Creative, the Year of Natural in 2013, and Year of Homecoming in 2014, while Prof Brimblecombe will focus on the transition to a low carbon economy.

Reflecting the theme for 2012, Head of Regeneration Strategy at the Scottish Government, Jane Macpherson, will examine how the nation can manage its historic environment creatively.

Notes for editors:

  • In the week of the Historic Scotland Conference, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, announced on February 27th that £10 million would be made available to councils to regenerate Scotland’s conservation areas. The Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) breathes new life into run down areas, by channelling funding towards opportunities which enhance sustainable economic growth. It supports projects that develop a sense of place, and will run over the next five years.

  • 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.

  • The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 and will spotlight and celebrate Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on a world stage. Through a dynamic and exciting year-long programme of activity celebrating our world-class events, festivals, culture and heritage, the year puts Scotland’s culture and creativity in the international spotlight with a focus on cultural tourism and developing the events industry and creative sector in Scotland. More information about the programme can be found at:

  • The Year of Creative Scotland is a Scottish Government initiative led in partnership by EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL. More information and resources to help businesses engage with Year of Creative Scotland are available at

                                                 Year of Creative Scotland 2012

For further information

David Gray
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8588 or 07854 366 805