About Us

11 June 2021

New plan sets out how historic environment will support Scotland’s recovery

We have published our new Annual Operating Plan for 2021/22, which sets out how the organisation will champion the role of the historic environment to bring positive social, environmental and economic impacts for communities across Scotland

A boy sitting on a wall with Tantallon Castle in the background

The plan outlines the key areas of focus for the organisation over the next financial year to continue to deliver its core activities and support for the wider heritage sector, while responding to the ongoing challenges of the COVID pandemic and its longer-term impacts.

To maximise the positive contribution of the historic environment, the plan also identifies strategic opportunities to support key national agendas such as the development of a wellbeing economy and Scotland’s green recovery.

Download our Annual Operating Plan 2021-22

Commitments include:

  • Increase and enhance the use of digital in the work of the organisation, focusing on digital innovation to foster creativity and inclusion through digital access and experiences.
  • Tackle inequalities and increase inclusion, access to and participation in Scotland’s historic environment through recently published Equality Outcomes.
  • Use the opportunity of COP26 in Glasgow to advocate for the importance of the historic environment for carbon reduction and inspiring climate action and continue HES’s world-leading climate change work.
  • Develop an approach to tourism which is more sustainable.
  • Enhance communities’ use of their heritage in placemaking, integrating the historic environment into local, city and regional placemaking.
  • Promote the historic environment sector as a provider of the green jobs and skills that will be crucial to the development of a wellbeing economy.
  • Prioritise the health and wellbeing of staff as we balance our ambitions with the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said:

“The COVID pandemic has significantly impacted every individual, community, business and organisation throughout Scotland, and HES has been no different in experiencing a challenging period.

As we look to the year ahead, a level of uncertainty remains – particularly around the restart of the tourism industry. As a result, we’ve had to prioritise our resources to ensure we can continue to deliver our core activity and provide crucial support for the sector.

“This disruption has brought with it the need for tough choices, but it has also offered an opportunity to reimagine what we do as an organisation to ensure the historic environment is at the heart of Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic.”

HES’s Annual Operating Plan for 2021/22 enables the delivery of the longer-term outcomes set out in its Corporate Plan Heritage for All, as well as Scotland’s historic environment sector strategy Our Place in Time and Scottish Government’s National Outcomes. 

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:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962