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3 April 2019

Scotland’s historic buildings to receive £7m boost

The Heritage Impact Fund is available to organisations that wish to deliver economic and social impact through re-use of Scotland’s heritage buildings.

View of Riddles Court, Lawnmarket in Edinburgh,

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has provided £427,000 funding to the Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) for its new Heritage Impact Fund which was announced today (Wednesday 3 April) at Riddles Court in Edinburgh.

The Heritage Impact Fund offers tailored loan finance for charities, social enterprises and community businesses in Scotland seeking to acquire, reuse or redevelop buildings of historical or architectural importance. These buildings may be listed, in a conservation area, or may be of special significance to the community. Loan amounts will be up to £500,000 per project with a maximum three-year term, or up to five years in exceptional circumstances.

As well as helping deliver projects that support the sustainability of historic buildings, the Heritage Impact Fund will support organisations with a clear social mission seeking to deliver demonstrable local economic and community impact.

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, said:

“At HES, we are always looking to develop how we work and engage with communities and we are delighted to support AHF in this partnership.

The Heritage Impact Fund will help to provide more flexible opportunities for local communities to maximise the potential of historic assets that matter to them.

“We hope this new fund will inspire and encourage more sustainable reuse initiatives and look forward to seeing the finished projects.”

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive, The Architectural Heritage Fund, said:

“The Heritage Impact Fund is our first partnership loan fund in Scotland and the first of its kind for the heritage sector. We are extremely pleased to be launching the fund alongside our partners.

The Heritage Impact Fund is designed to be flexible, supporting not-for-profit organisations both within and outside the heritage sector, the common link being the re-use of a heritage building and delivering local economic and social benefits.

The Fund can be used for almost any type of loan to support a project - from working capital during the construction phase, to capital to grow the scope of a business or to finance to acquire a property.”

For the first time, the AHF will also be able to provide assistance to borrowers with evaluating and assessing the impact of their projects. The Heritage Impact Fund will also offer incentivised rates for projects that deliver significant economic or social impact, or which can be expanded upon as a result of the AHF’s assistance. Impact will naturally vary from project to project but it is expected to include new job creation, the creation of training and volunteering opportunities and the restoration and re-use of heritage buildings for a variety of commercial and community uses.

As part of the loan fund application, the AHF is offering to refer organisations to a new business support service – RePlan – for pro bono expertise and tailored advice and guidance to those organisations that would benefit from targeted capacity building support, assistance with business transformation, impact measurement, transition or expansion. Based on AHF’s experience of when projects need most support, RePlan will be particularly relevant to organisations completing a capital project or looking to build upon or scale-up their existing enterprises.

Find out more

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.
  • View our press pack and keep up to date by registering for media release email alerts. If you wish to unsubscribe, please contact us.

About Architectural Heritage Fund

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK. The AHF does this by providing advice, information and financial assistance in the form of early project grants and social investment by way of loans and community share purchases for projects undertaken by charities and not-for-profit organisations. 

Since the 1970s AHF has awarded loans with a total value of £125m to over 900 heritage projects across the UK and has disbursed more than 1,200 individual early project grants totalling over £10m.

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For further information, please contact:

Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Direct line: 0131 668 8097
Mobile: 07557 489 322