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31 January 2022

New grant programmes for Scotland’s historic environment

HES has refreshed its grants programmes following public consultation

Dean Castle with scaffolding around it

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has unveiled its refreshed grant programmes following a review of the existing schemes and a wider public consultation.

Following the consultation activities, a new framework has been developed which will guide HES’s future grant investments.

As part of the framework, the existing grants programmes have been updated and streamlined. This includes the introduction of Historic Environment Grants which is a new open programme for project-based funding enabling applicants to apply for capital and activity costs under one programme, rather than making multiple applications.

A new Partnership Fund has been developed which will provide revenue support to organisations delivering key strategic outcomes which are aligned with HES’s policy aims, and a refreshed place-based funding programme will launch this year, replacing the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

The Heritage & Place Programme, which is the new place-based fund, will open for expressions of interest on Wednesday 30 March 2022. The programme will support the development and delivery of heritage-focused schemes within conservation areas, or alternatively distinctive heritage areas with local authority recognition. To maximise their funding opportunities, applicants will also be encouraged to apply for area-based funding under the National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Grants for Heritage programme.

Under the new framework, applicants can request support for interim works which need to be undertaken urgently to secure the future of highly significant heritage assets. There will also be a requirement for applicants to produce a management and maintenance plan for repair grants over £25,000.

In addition, guidance for repair grants will be updated and new operational improvements are being introduced including an automated grants management system.

Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said:

“Our existing grants programmes have been running for several years now, and COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the sector and society. In light of this, we thought it was an appropriate time to carry out a review of the programmes and refresh our approach to ensure that it continues to meet the needs of applicants and aligns with our current policy and priorities.

As part of the framework, we have identified six key priority areas to ensure that we maximise the outcomes our grants can deliver for the historic environment and society more broadly. These include engagement, place making, repair and resilience, climate action, skills and the economy.

“We have also recognised the need to provide more flexible support to ensure that significant heritage assets are protected and streamline our approach to make it more user-friendly and accessible for applicants.”

The framework was developed following consultation with staff, Scottish Government and other key funders. Following this, HES carried out a public consultation which ran from July to September 2021. In addition to inviting comments from members of the public, over 300 stakeholders, partners, grantees, other funders, and local authorities were contacted directly and invited to respond to the consultation. The feedback received directly informed the updated framework.

Amy continues:

“The new framework will help to ensure that we make the best possible use of our grant funding, as well as encourage more sustainable projects and ensure the ongoing maintenance of grant aided work. We will also continue to work in close partnership with other funders where possible to maximise the impact of available resources.

"Our grants have a crucial role to play to help ensure that Scotland’s historic environment can continue to be maintained, cared for and promoted for generations to come, and we look forward to rolling our new grant programmes out over the next 12 months.”

Since HES was established in 2015, it has distributed approximately £81.5m in grants using Grant in Aid provided by the Scottish Government.

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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:

Stacey Dent, Communications Officer
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 0131 668 8097