1 Overview

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 Strategic Historic Environment Forum

The Strategic Historic Environment Forum 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 the Strategic Historic Environment Forum can be found on the Scottish Government website.

4 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 Association, Built Environment Forum Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

5 Working groups

Four working groups are currently supporting the delivery of Our Place in Time:

  • Heritage Tourism Group
  • Volunteering Group
  • Built Heritage Investment Group
  • Climate Change 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.

Volunteering Group

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:

The group works collaboratively with Heritage Volunteer Organisers Scotland and is taking forward recommendations from the Volunteering and the Historic Environment report.

Climate Change

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:

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:

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