£2 million available to communities to help safeguard Scotland’s historic environment

15/03/2023
Express grants and interim works for heritage assets are available for the first time

£2 MILLION will be available to communities across Scotland this year as a new project-based funding scheme is launched by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) today (Wednesday 15 March).

Grants from £1,000 to £500,000 are now available as part of Historic Environment Grants which replaces a number of HES’s previous funding programmes including its Repair Grant and Support Fund schemes. Historic Environment Grants will be open largely to not-for-profit organisations such as charities, local authorities, religious bodies and community groups, to help further support Scotland’s diverse historic building stock, as well as supporting skills and the retrofit agenda.

There are three funding streams available – express grants of £1,000 to £25,000, small grants of £25,001 to £100,000 and large grants of £100,001 to £500,000. Expressions of interest can be submitted throughout the year, and applications will be accepted all year for express grants and three times per year for small and large grants.

To be considered for funding, applicants must be able to show how their project can contribute to key priority areas including engagement, place making, repair and resilience, climate action, skills and the economy.

Through the programme, HES will fund tangible and intangible heritage – from historic buildings and gardens to skills, stories and traditions – as well as development work, which is not something that HES has traditionally funded in the past.

As well as supporting repair and consolidation works, management plans and resilience planning and training, applications can also be focused on other aspects of Scotland’s historic environment including archaeological excavations and research and outreach and learning activities. The scheme is also seeking to support the use of local materials where possible, for example supporting with the cost of the repair and maintenance of thatched roofs through grant awards where local materials are being used.

In addition, interim works up to £50,000 will be available for significant heritage assets that are at immediate risk of loss or damage.

Susan O’Connor, Head of Grants at HES said: “As a result of extensive consultation activity that was carried out last year, we have developed the new Historic Environment Grants scheme which is a flexible, inclusive and easily accessible funding programmme.

“Not only can applicants apply for capital and activity costs under one programme, but we are now able to offer express grants and fund interim works for vulnerable heritage assets up to £50,000, which is a first for the sector.

“Historic Environment Grants will help ensure that the projects we support have a long-term impact on the people and places of Scotland, and we very much look forward to working with communities across the country to help secure a sustainable future for Scotland’s historic environment.”

Since HES was established in 2015, it has offered approximately £95.9m in grants using Grant in Aid provided by the Scottish Government.

Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “Inclusive and accessible funding for communities and organisations looking to engage with, preserve and protect our historic environment is vital.

“As these grants can have a significant impact on places and people, in particular supporting training and skills development in local communities, I would encourage those with relevant projects to apply for the new Historic Environment Grants funding scheme.”

Historic Environment Grants follows on from the launch of HES’s Heritage & Place Programme, which is a place-based funding programme. Both funding programmes are the result of a review that HES carried out of its grant schemes as well as public consultation.

For further information on Historic Environment Grants, visit the HES website. To submit an expression of interest, visit the HES Grants Portal.

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