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Associate feature: Planning for a different tomorrow

Associate feature: Planning for a different tomorrow

As we look to Scotland’s post-pandemic future, questions emerge. How do we seize this opportunity to transform society for the better? How do we rebuild our economy and embed climate action into our recovery? And what role does Scotland’s historic environment sector have to play in all of this?

At Historic Environment Scotland (HES), we recently developed our new 6 month action plan with these questions in mind. Our historic built environment is a key part of our country’s infrastructure, and it has a crucial part to play as we plan for a different tomorrow.

These historic buildings include our nation’s iconic castles and ancient monuments, but they are also the places where we live, work, study and relax. Approximately 20% of our homes are historic buildings, making it so important that we can heat and power them sustainably for the future. By promoting the value of retrofitting and reusing existing buildings, we are conserving resources, preventing waste from construction and demolition, and setting an example in energy efficiency and sustainability for others to follow.

Repairing, restoring and reusing historic buildings can also support sustainable growth in our communities. Breathing new life in to old buildings in turn attracts further investment, employment and tourism, helping to create a green, low carbon Scotland that retains the distinctive character of our local places.

Recent lockdown restrictions have reinforced the importance of living locally, with amenities and green spaces on our doorstep. For centuries, this is how many people in Scotland have settled and lived. As we look to build healthier, greener communities for the future, there is much we can learn from these historic patterns of living.

The task ahead of us won’t be easy, but we believe that by championing the role of the historic environment, we can support Scotland’s recovery in a way that brings long term benefits for all our communities.

Alex Paterson is Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland

This piece was sponsored by Historic Environment Scotland

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