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Parliamentary debates and questions

S5W-05796: Gordon Lindhurst (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 20 December 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to reduce the costs of work carried out to conserve historic (a) buildings, (b) monuments and (c) tenements.

Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 11 January 2017

It is the responsibility of the owners of historic buildings, monuments and tenements to ensure the conservation and repair of their properties. The cost of conservation work is usually determined by the scale of the problem needing rectified. In view of this, the Scottish Government and Historic Environment Scotland advocate the regular inspection and maintenance of buildings to identify and rectify issues before they become problems, thereby reducing the risk of urgent and expensive repairs at a later date. Advice for owners of historic properties is available from Historic Environment Scotland.

With specific reference to tenements, the Scottish Government online guide, Common Repair, Common Sense, on the management of tenements in Scotland: also notes that “Regular inspections followed by prompt remedial action will reduce the costs of minor and major repairs.” In September 2016, the Under One Roof web resource was launched as part of the Year of Architecture, Innovation and Design. This free, impartial resource provides advice for the owners and occupiers of tenements and flats in Scotland.

Some owners may be eligible for grant support towards repairs. Scottish Government funding for the historic environment is channelled via the Historic Environment Scotland grant schemes. The level of these grant schemes has been maintained over recent years, despite economic pressures. Grant programmes in Scotland's Cities are administered by local City Heritage Trusts, who can advise on grant eligibility and also provide advice to property owners.