South Scotland

'Iconic' site investment plan unveiled

Caerlaverock Castle Image copyright HES
Image caption An augmented reality app is being created for Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has unveiled an investment plan for some of Scotland's "most iconic sites".

The programme - which will see £12m spent in 2018/19 - aims to enhance the condition of buildings and improve the visitor experience.

HES said it hoped to have a similar annual budget for upgrades of its properties until 2021/22.

A total of 20 sites out of its estate have been earmarked as a priority for investment under the plans.

Image copyright HES
Image caption Work will be carried out on the spire at Glasgow Cathedral
Image copyright Santiago Arribas Pena
Image caption Edinburgh Castle has been identified as an investment priority

HES said this year had already seen working carried out on sites including Midhowe in Orkney, Dunkeld Cathedral, Dumbarton Castle and Lochleven Castle.

Chief executive Alex Paterson said: "These are ambitious plans which will set new standards for the care of our properties and provide world class visitor attractions with outstanding visitor experiences.

"We're building on the success of recent years which have seen record numbers of visitors to many of Scotland's historic sites.

"We've already effectively started our investment programme, with many projects already under way across the country and are in a strong position to deliver on the identified priorities designed to help bring social, economic and environmental benefits for Scotland."

Image copyright HES
Image caption Fort George is in line for investment under the plans
Image copyright Santiago Arribas
Image caption Another site to secure support is Duff House

The investment will see facilities enhanced at Edinburgh Castle, repair work on the main spire at Glasgow Cathedral and an augmented reality app for Caerlaverock Castle near Dumfries.

Other sites identified on the priority list are:

  • Urquhart Castle
  • Linlithgow Palace
  • Holyrood Park
  • Doune Castle
  • St Andrews Cathedral
  • Fort George
  • Melrose Abbey
  • Stirling Castle
  • Dallas Dhu Distillery
  • Craigmillar Castle
  • Duff House
  • Iona Abbey
  • Tantallon Castle
  • Kilchurn Castle
  • Blackness Castle
  • Dumbarton Castle
  • Arbroath Abbey
Image copyright Duncan Peet
Image caption Sites like Stirling Castle are credited for generating significant revenue for the economy

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop welcomed the investment plans.

She said HES offered a "strong return for our economy" with £528m generated in 2017, supporting an estimated 15,300 full time jobs.

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