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6 October 2020

HES launches £2.6 million recovery fund for Scotland’s historic environment sector

The Historic Environment Recovery Fund will support organisations and safeguard jobs following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic

view of Edinburgh from Edinburgh Castle

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has launched a new £2.6 million fund to support the recovery of Scotland’s historic environment sector from the impacts of COVID-19, with applications opening on Monday 12 October.

The Historic Environment Recovery Fund has two funding streams available which organisations can apply to for grants from £10,000 - £100,000.

The Reopening Historic Buildings and Sites stream is open to organisations which manage historic buildings and sites that are normally open to the public at least 28 days per year.

As part of this stream, funding is available to help with reopening to the public, from urgent repairs and maintenance to PPE equipment and minor physical adaptions to enable social distancing. Organisations can also apply for funding to assist with training for staff and volunteers as well as activities to re-engage communities with their local heritage sites as they reopen.

The Sector Resilience and Recovery stream is open to any organisation which delivers significant outcomes for Scotland’s historic environment.

Organisations should apply to this stream for funding to enable them to remain solvent and protect jobs or skills training posts as well as assistance with activities to help them adapt to the impacts of COVID-19 and become more resilient in the future.

As part of this stream, funding is also available for those who deliver traditional skills training courses and can be used to invest in additional space or equipment to facilitate social distancing requirements as well as to develop new ways of delivering courses, such as online, so that people can continue to participate.

The Historic Environment Recovery Fund is administered by HES on behalf of the Scottish Government and comes from the £97m UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors.

Jane Ryder, Chair of HES, said:

“We warmly welcome this additional £2.6 million funding from the Scottish Government which has enabled us to develop the Historic Environment Recovery Fund to support organisations and historic sites throughout Scotland.

“These are extraordinarily challenging times for all those involved in the historic environment sector.

As well as organisations large and small, being major contributors to the economy through providing jobs and generating tourism spend, access to our historic environment provides crucial social benefits to communities throughout the country.

“To support the recovery and long-term health of the sector and of society, it is critical that we now assist by protecting jobs, reopening historic sites and investing in traditional skills and training opportunities. We are delighted this new fund will support those organisations within the sector in this way, to continue the important work that they do.”

Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said:

“The Historic Environment Recovery Fund is open to any organisation which works to ensure Scotland’s historic environment is understood, valued, cared for and enjoyed, and it may be possible for some organisations to apply to more than one funding stream.

“All applicants must be able to demonstrate that their work delivers significant environment or public benefits and that their organisation was financially sustainable prior to the outbreak of COVID-19.

There are a number of ways in which the Historic Environment Recovery Fund can help with an organisation’s recovery and I would encourage people to visit our website to find out what support might be available to them.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“The last six months have been a trying time for everyone in the culture and heritage sectors. The major issues presented by the pandemic are not going away soon, but this funding will provide much-needed support to organisations to ensure as many as possible can survive the crisis.

Heritage attractions and historic buildings play a critical role in communities across Scotland. This funding will enable them to reopen safely, protecting jobs and supporting local economies.

“It will also ensure we continue to invest in historic assets themselves and ensure that the specialist traditional skills and expertise in conservation, which will be vital to our green recovery, are not lost.”

Applications for the Historic Environment Recovery Fund are open from Monday 12 October – Monday 2 November. For further information visit: www.historicenvironment.scot/herf

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
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