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20 April 2023

HES publishes Annual Operating Plan 2023-24

Combating climate change, green job creation, skills development and heritage sector recovery and development among key focus areas for year ahead

High Level Masonry Inspector at Caerlaverock Castle

The plan sets out the key areas of work HES aims to deliver over the next financial year, reflecting core priorities as Scotland continues to recover from the impact of Covid-19 and focussing on key activities designed to bring real public benefit from Scotland’s globally renowned historic environment.

Approved by the HES Board, the new AOP is designed to deliver an ambitious programme of activity while recognising challenges in the world today such as the cost of living, supply chain disruptions, the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the acceleration of climate change.

Download our Annual Operating Plan

It will also support the delivery of the current HES Corporate Plan Heritage For All, the wider sector strategy, and Scotland’s National Outcomes, while also building on the organisation’s performance in 2022-23.

Heritage For All is organised around five outcomes and ten Key Performance Indicators and the new operating plan continues to focus on the six key priorities initially identified in last year’s AOP:

  • Wellbeing, inequality and access
  • Net zero
  • Managing heritage assets
  • How we contribute to a fairer, greener, and stronger economy
  • How we contribute to the historic environment sector’s recovery
  • How we continue to build HES to be a high performing organisation

Acknowledging the challenges outlined above, the plan sets out a unifying vision and priorities for HES to respond to and provide continuity of service, reassurance and support. It also promotes the potential for the historic environment to help chart a course through recovery from the pandemic to a brighter future.

The plan breaks down the priority areas and explains what will be delivered by successfully achieving its aims. It will be used by all directorates across HES to support the delivery of our objectives over the next 12 months.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland said:

“Scotland’s historic environment is recognised across the world and is an integral part of our everyday lives and communities.

As the lead public body for the historic environment, HES is ready to support the delivery of Scotland’s priorities amid a range of global challenges, and to make a real difference to people’s lives and the communities in which they live.

“As we continue to recover from the disruption of the COVID pandemic, many other challenges still must be faced, locally and further afield. However, as an organisation we are agile and adaptable and through this new Annual Operating Plan we offer a clear vision of how we can maximise the varied benefits of our historic environment to deliver our services, prioritise our resources and support and contribute to a stronger, fairer, greener recovery and the overall present and future wellbeing of Scotland.”

Related documents:

Heritage for All Corporate Plan 2022 onwards Find out how the historic environment can make a difference to people’s lives

Previous Annual Operating Plans

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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For further information, please contact:

Barry McPherson
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07880 134 601