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16 October 2023

Survey Seeks Feedback on Buildings at Risk Register

Views are sought on the Buildings at Risk Register - a tool that seeks to identify and secure a sustainable future for buildings at risk in Scotland.

An image of Park Hall a building on the Buildings at Risk Register (BARR)

The Buildings at Risk Register (BARR) is maintained by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and provides information on historic buildings at risk. These include those that are vacant, suffering neglect or threatened with demolition.

Historic buildings link us to history, they provide homes, support businesses, are focal points for tourists, and can glue communities together. They can be emotional landmarks, or can boost cultural engagement, and bolster society.

Just under 2,200 buildings are currently on the register, including churches, pubs, castles, stately homes, and buildings, many listed for their significance.

The survey seeks to engage individuals, organisations, communities, and professionals, who have an interest in reuse of historic buildings at risk.

Philip Robertson, from HES, said:

“The Buildings at Risk Register is intended for use by anyone with an interest in bringing buildings back into use. That includes property developers, heritage organisations, investors, architects, and individuals with an interest in renovating, re-purposing, or saving these buildings. We want to further understand who uses the register and how they use it. ”

The Buildings at Risk Register was established in 1990 in response to the growing concern over vacant listed buildings and those in Conservation Areas that had fallen into disrepair.

Philip Robertson added:

“Reuse and regeneration of buildings at risk is a sustainable approach and it helps to contribute to successful placemaking and economic regeneration throughout Scotland. We’re keen to hear from community groups and others who are working to refurbish buildings at risk and to put them to good use. We want to hear how useful the register is for this purpose.”

Anyone who cares about how our countryside, towns and cities look, and how they prosper, should take part in our survey. It is important we learn about the use of the register as this will help us to understand how best to encourage the repair and reuse of heritage buildings at risk across Scotland."

A leading research agency in the heritage sector, Harlow Consulting, is leading on the extensive survey to help HES to understand the impact the Buildings at Risk Register is having.

Harlow Consulting will also make evidence-based recommendations from the study that will inform long-term decisions about this resource by HES, and how best to bring buildings at risk back into use.

Jennifer Brennan, Director at Harlow Consulting, said:

“As well as estate agents, architects, heritage groups, developers, housing associations and local authorities, we want to hear from all voices, including those of the general public. We know that many people really care about heritage buildings in their communities, and in their neighbourhoods that are vacant or falling into disrepair.”

"Together, we can make a significant impact and save more buildings at risk. Participants will have the opportunity to contribute their expertise and opinions."

Take part in the survey

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead body for Scotland’s historic environment, a charity dedicated to the advancement of heritage, culture, education and environmental protection. It is at the forefront of researching and understanding the historic environment and addressing the impacts of climate change on its future, investigating and recording architectural and archaeological sites and landscapes across Scotland and caring for more than 300 properties of national importance. We are also the lead on delivering Scotland's strategy for the historic environment, Our Past, Our Future.
  • 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 to receive our media releases. Already registered? You can unsubscribe at any time by following the unsubscribe link, included in every email.

Follow HES

X: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory
Facebook: @HistoricEnvScotland | @VisitHistoricScotland
Instagram: @HistEnvScot | @historicscotland


For further information, please contact:

Claire Mullaney
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
07721 959 962