About Us

7 December 2017

Annual Report and Accounts 2016/17 Published

We've published our first full year Annual Report and Accounts alongside our inaugural Properties in Care Report

HES staff member using a 3D printer

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has today (7 Dec 2017) published its Annual Report and Accounts for its first full year of operation as the successor to Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) in 2015.

The report, which covers the financial year 2016/17, illustrates the organisation’s stewardship and regulation of Scotland’s historic environment as well as the increasing value of heritage to the country’s economy. It also outlines the significant contribution HES is making to a range of other agendas including education, skills and training and community development.

In tandem with this first full set of annual performance results, HES has also published its inaugural annual report focused on the upkeep and management of its 336 Properties in Care (PICs); reporting on general progress around the management of its estate and collections, how it is delivering the scheme of delegation put in place since becoming HES, and showing advance in areas like its use of innovative technology.

The Annual Report results show that over the reporting period for 2016/17, HES saw an increase in its commercial income to over £48 million while also setting a new record for heritage tourism in attracting 4.3 million visitors to its paid sites - up 12% on 2015-16. It also increased membership from 162,764 in 2015/16 to 172,678 and saw over 17,000 volunteers support its various projects and events over the period.

Reporting against the five strategic themes of: Lead, Understand, Protect, Value and Perform as set out in the Corporate plan, HES has:

  • Awarded £15.4 million to different organisations through a grants programme across Scotland’s communities, helping fund repairs and stimulate regeneration, including some of the country’s most deprived areas
  • Contributed an estimated £430 million to the wider heritage tourism economy through knock on benefits to thousands of local businesses across Scotland
  • Boosted skills availability via apprenticeship programmes and partnership with Stirling University and Forth Valley College
  • Engaged more than 100,000 learners through outreach activities
  • Reduced energy consumption across HES sites - saving 90 tons of carbon in the process and launching a new Carbon Management Programme
  • Engaged around 2000 people across Scotland through the What’s Your Heritage public consultation project
  • Made £1.5 million in efficiency savings as part of an ongoing cost reduction effort

Jane Ryder, Chair of HES, said: “Our performance results show we are an organisation already maturing in our role as the lead public body for the heritage sector, delivering on our current Corporate Plan including leading and facilitating delivery of the sector strategy, Our Place in Time. Coming as we near the end of the year of History, Heritage and, Archaeology, this could not be better news.

The results show not only our stewardship of the properties in care but also the positive difference we are making to a range of other agendas across Scotland, particularly in our ongoing work with communities and the investment we are making across the country through our various grants programmes.

“We are aware we narrowly missed just three of the 79 targets in our Corporate Plan over the period. However, these are now completed or being addressed: with the Engine Shed in Stirling now open and our comprehensive new People Strategy seeking to reduce issues such as working days lost while also improving overall staff engagement.

“Confident of continued progress, we have set out ambitious targets for 2017/18 and are already looking towards next year and beyond.”

Jane added: “To further develop our corporate reporting, we are also publishing our first annual report on the properties in our care. This ground breaking report, outlines how we are transforming the management and operation of our sites and associated collections, maximising use of innovative technologies and harnessing our expertise to ensure we effectively deliver our functions as stewards of some of the most important properties making up Scotland’s world renowned historic environment.

“Such success of course, would not be possible without the work of our dedicated and professional staff across our business and on behalf of the Board and Senior Management Team, I congratulate and thank them all for their achievements.”

Both the current Annual Report and Accounts and the Properties in Care Report are published today on the HES website alongside a special overview animation. 

Download Annual Report 2016-17 Download Properties in the Care Report

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About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017

2017 is the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology (HHA), a year that will celebrate Scotland’s people, our distinct culture and traditions, our historic landscapes, attractions and icons as well as our hidden gems and amazing stories. From World Heritage Sites to ancient monuments, listed buildings to historic battlefields, cultural traditions to our myths, stories and legends, 2017 is the year to explore Scotland’s fascinating past. This is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland and a variety of partners.

Get involved on Twitter with #HHA2017

Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 logo

Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory 

Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland@VisitHistoricScotland


For further information, please contact:

Barry McPherson 
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct Line: 0131 668 8097
Mobile: 07813 357 722