Our Place in Time is Scotland’s strategy for the historic environment. It sets out a vision of how our historic environment can be understood, valued, cared for and enjoyed.
The strategy was developed collaboratively by organisations and specialists in the historic environment sector and beyond.
Our Place in Time identifies four strategic priorities:
- cross-cutting strategic priorities – ensuring that the cultural, social, environmental and economic value of our heritage continues to contribute to Scotland’s well-being
- understand – investigating and recording our historic environment to continually develop our knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the past, and how best to conserve, sustain and protect it
- protect – caring for and protecting the historic environment in order to both enjoy and benefit from it, and to conserve and enhance it for future generations
- value – sharing and celebrating the richness and significance of our historic environment
2 Delivering the strategy
As Scotland's lead public body for Scotland’s historic environment, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) leads and enables delivery of Our Place in Time. We work in partnership with other organisations and individuals to deliver real and increasing benefits to Scotland’s people.
Our responsibilities include coordinating the production and publication of annual delivery plans and reports.Search Our Place in Time publications
Organisations, groups and individuals from across the historic environment sector and beyond have come together to support the delivery of the strategy through:
HES is also responsible for coordinating and enabling these working groups and reporting on progress to the Strategic Historic Environment Forum.
3 Measuring success
These 13 key performance indicators (KPIs) are used to measure the success of delivering Our Place in Time:
|Cross-Cutting: Strategic||Mainstreaming||01||Increase economic and social well-being benefits from the historic environment for the people of Scotland|
|Mainstreaming||02||Improve the environment by reducing CO2 emissions|
|Informed decision making||03||Increasingly historic environment evidence informs priorities|
|Leadership and shared working||04||Increase joined up working on strategic investment across the public, private and voluntary sectors|
|Skills and capacity||05||Improve skills and capacity to deliver priorities|
|Understand: Investigate and Record||Knowledge development||06||Increase customer focus of knowledge created on the historic environment|
|Accessible knowledge||07||Improve access to knowledge on the historic environment|
|Protect: Care and Protect||Holistic and sustainable approach||08||Improve or maintain the state of Scotland’s historic sites and places|
|Effective and proportionate protection and regulation||09||Increasingly the outcomes of management, including designation, reflects what people value|
|Ensuring capacity||10||Improve capacity by supporting communities through community empowerment and engagement|
|Value: Share and Celebrate||Enhance Participation||11||Increase the number and range of people volunteering in the historic environment|
|Broad ranging approach to learning||12||Increase the number and range of people who learn about the historic environment|
|Tourism||13||Increase the number and range of people visiting the historic environment|
The KPIs were developed with the sector and agreed by Scotland’s Historic Environment Forum.
Each year, we publish qualitative and quantitative data linked to the KPIs. The trends and case studies show our collective progress in delivering Our Place in Time.Search Our Place in Time publications
4 Scotland's Historic Environment Forum
Scotland's Historic Environment Forum (SHEF) is responsible for championing Scotland's historic environment by providing strategic advice and direction on its management and promotion. The Forum meets twice a year and is chaired by the Cabinet Secretary of Culture, Tourism and External Affairs.
The Forum promotes Our Place in Time by:
- encouraging and celebrating collaboration and leadership at all levels across the sector
- working in partnership on issues of national importance
- aligning activities and resources to deliver agreed priorities
More information about Scotland's Historic Environment Forum can be found on the Scottish Government website.
You can now read the event report for the 2022 Scotland's Historic Environment Forum, that took place 29 June at Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh.
5 Chief Executives’ Forum
The Chief Executives' Forum monitors the progress of Our Place in Time and addresses issues and concerns in the delivery of the strategy.
The Forum is responsible for ensuring momentum is maintained in delivering the strategy and identifies common threads and emerging themes.
Chaired by the Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland, the Forum comprises Chief Executives or equivalents from key organisations involved in the delivery of Our Place in Time. These organisations include Museum Galleries Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage, Historic Houses, Built Environment Forum Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.
6 Working groups
Five working groups are currently supporting the delivery of Our Place in Time:
- Heritage Tourism Group
- Volunteering Group
- Climate Change Group
- Built Heritage Investment Group
- Skills and Expertise Group
Heritage Tourism Group
The Heritage Tourism Group explores how to grow the overall value of heritage tourism in Scotland.
The group is chaired by Stephen Duncan, Director of Commercial and Tourism at Historic Environment Scotland, and comprises members from:
The group works collaboratively with public, private and voluntary sector partners to deliver the ambition and targets of Heritage Tourism 2020, People Make Heritage. It aims to grow actual heritage tourism expenditure to £1.7 billion by 2020 by broadening the appeal of heritage experiences to new and existing markets.
The Volunteering Group’s purpose is to demonstrate and promote the value of volunteering to the historic environment. It aims to establish ways for individuals, communities and organisations to get involved and stay engaged.
The group is chaired by George Thomson, Chief Executive of Volunteer Scotland, and comprises members from:
- Historic Environment Scotland
- Museums and Galleries Scotland
- Scottish Civic Trust
- other organisations involved in promoting volunteering in the historic environment
The group works collaboratively with Heritage Volunteer Organisers Scotland and is taking forward recommendations from the Volunteering and the Historic Environment report.
The Climate Change Group works collaboratively across public, private and voluntary sectors to improve energy efficiency and climate change adaptation in traditional buildings.
The group is chaired by Ewan Hyslop, Head of Technical Research and Science at Historic Environment Scotland, and comprises members from:
- Archaeology Scotland
- Church of Scotland
- National Trust for Scotland
- Institute for Historic Building Conservation
- other organisations from the historic environment or involved in climate change support
Built Heritage Investment Group
The Built Heritage Investment Group’s purpose is to develop a national infrastructure investment plan for Scotland’s historic built environment. It will achieve this by working in collaboration with public, private and voluntary sector partners.
The group is chaired by David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Environment Scotland, and comprises members from:
- The National Trust for Scotland
- Historic Houses
- Scottish Canals
- The National Lottery Heritage Fund
- other organisations involved in managing or investing in Scotland’s built heritage
Skills and Expertise Group
The Skills and Expertise Group works to identify the existing and future skills needs of the sector. It focuses on developing initiatives that address those needs and functions as the steering group for the development of the first Historic Environment Skills Investment Plan.
The group is chaired by Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland, and comprises members from: