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3 October 2023

Green light for Archive House

Plans for a new world-class facility for the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Archive have passed their first milestone with the granting of planning permission for the proposals by Midlothian Council.

A view of the outside of Archive House

The project to convert an existing building in the Sherwood Industrial Estate in Bonnyrigg into a new state-of-the-art home for the organisation’s extensive records and archives will now progress, with overall project management and cost consultancy by Gleeds, design by Oberlanders, specialist engineering input from Buro Happold, civil structural and geo-environmental services from Curtins and development by Morrison Construction Scotland.

The project is expected to be completed in 2026 and aims to be the first public building to be designed and built implementing the new Scottish Government Net Zero Public Sector Building Standard Standard in conjunction with Passive House EnerPHit standard which takes into account not only the carbon emissions of the building while in use, but also the carbon emissions associated with the building materials, construction and maintenance.

Currently housed at John Sinclair House in Edinburgh and other locations across central Scotland, the HES Archive is home to the national archaeological and architectural archive. It holds over 3,500 different collections, comprising drawings, photographs, documents, prints and tomes stretching across 15km of shelving. The new facility will enable these collections to be protected to the highest standards.

Lesley Ferguson, Head of Archives at HES, said:

We’re delighted that the plans for a new home for our archive have been granted planning permission, and we can now progress with this hugely important project to ensure our unique archival collections can be protected for future generations.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead body for Scotland’s historic environment, a charity dedicated to the advancement of heritage, culture, education and environmental protection. It is at the forefront of researching and understanding the historic environment and addressing the impacts of climate change on its future, investigating and recording architectural and archaeological sites and landscapes across Scotland and caring for more than 300 properties of national importance. We are also the lead on delivering Scotland's strategy for the historic environment, Our Past, Our Future.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle, and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering to receive our media releases. Already registered? You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link, included in every email.

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For further information, please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
07721 959 962