Graeme Sponsors Historic Environment Scotland Event
This week in Parliament, Graeme sponsored an event held to discuss how Scotland’s unique history and heritage can support the country’s economic and green recovery.
The session at Holyrood was hosted by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the lead public body that investigates, cares for and promotes Scotland’s historic environment – including over 300 properties in care, Arbroath Abbey among them.
The event, ‘How Scotland’s Past Can Support Its Future’, helped to provide further information to MSPs about the work of HES and the wider contribution made to Scotland by its historic environment, including how investment in the historic environment can drive economic recovery.
Figures from Historic Environment Scotland show the historic environment sector generated £4.4 billion for Scotland’s economy in 2019 and supported 68,000 full-time equivalent jobs in heritage, tourism and construction sectors. As many as 86% of people also reported a wellbeing benefit from their local heritage.
The event also provided an opportunity to find out more about how HES is helping to tackle climate change and contributing with the journey to net zero as well as how it’s work benefits communities across Scotland.
A fifth of Scotland’s residential buildings were constructed before 1919 using traditional materials and building skills. Making these buildings as energy efficient as possible is a crucial part of the road to net zero, as well as supporting opportunities for re-use and retrofit – helping to boost jobs and skills through the need for skilled labourers and craftspeople.
MSPs were also updated on progress on the high-level masonry inspections underway at HES to tackle the effects of climate change and other factors on a number of properties in care.
Since the programme started, HES has been able to reopen or increase access at more than 30 sites across Scotland. Inspections have been completed at 25 sites with a further 13 sites due to be completed by spring.
I was delighted to host Historic Environment Scotland at the Scottish Parliament this week, and to hear more about how the historic environment can help us deliver Scotland’s national and local priorities in every corner of the country.
At the heart of my Angus South constituency sits Arbroath Abbey, a site of huge historical significance nationally which is maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.
The preservation of such places is of great importance both culturally and economically, with a key role to play in the net zero transition as well, and it was fascinating to hear more about the work that goes into this.
Historic Environment Scotland’s vision of Heritage for All is inspiring and I was very pleased to have been able to raise further awareness.
– Alex Paterson, Chief Executive at HES
Scotland’s historic environment is a part of our everyday lives. It’s our homes and high streets, schools and hospitals. It’s also transport infrastructure like canals and bridges. The historic environment is central to our lives and our sense of place, identity and to our wellbeing.
There is clear economic value in investing in the historic environment to deliver these core agendas, with the reuse and adaptation of existing heritage assets being integral to a net zero transition. I would like to thank Graeme Dey for welcoming us to the Scottish Parliament and to all the MSPs who came to find out more about how Scotland’s past can support its future.