Funding for the repair and conservation of historic buildings in Scotland assessed as being of outstanding architectural or historic interest. Grants are awarded primarily for urgent repairs that need to be done within two years to prevent loss or damage to important historic fabric.
Rates of grant are assessed on an individual basis, but are not normally less than 25% of eligible costs. The maximum level of an individual grant does not normally exceed £500,000, including fees and VAT.
Projects costing less than £10,000, including fees and VAT, are not normally considered for grant.
Historic Scotland (HS) is an Agency within the Scottish Executive Education Department and is directly responsible for safeguarding Scotland's built heritage and promoting its understanding and enjoyment.
This scheme covers grants for the repair and conservation of historic buildings assessed as being of outstanding architectural or historic interest.
These grants are intended to achieve the appropriate repair of those elements of a building that provide structural stability and give protection from the weather. The aim is to ensure the continued survival of important historic fabric.
Grants are primarily for urgent repairs that need to be done within two years to prevent loss or damage to important historic fabric.
The following are not eligible for funding:
- Alterations and improvements.
- Maintenance and minor repairs.
- Reinstatement and reconstruction where there is a lack of historic evidence of design and detail.
- Retrospective costs. This includes any work already done, or underway, when an application is submitted.
Applicants must be organisations or individuals who have a legal responsibility for the repair of a historic building in Scotland. Applicants should normally need to own the building, or hold a full repairing lease, which has at least 21 years to run, or be able to demonstrate that an agreement to acquire the property in question is in place.
Applicants should note that private owners who have purchased the property within the previous 12 months, will not be seen as a priority for Historic Scotland grant assistance.
Applicants will be expected to contribute towards project costs from own/other resources.
HS aims to secure a sustainable future for the historic environment by ensuring that work carried out with a grant is:
- Sympathetic to the character and significance of the building.
- Completed to an appropriate standard that normally matches the original detailing, workmanship, material and building technique used at the time of original construction.
- Regularly maintained thereafter.
There is a high demand for historic building repair grants and HS is not able to offer a grant to every project that qualifies for support. It has identified two main priorities for the type of projects that it can support where a need for grant can be demonstrated.
HS' priorities for grants are as follows:
- Buildings of outstanding architectural of historic interest
These will be buildings that HS assess as being in Bands 1 to 4 of HS' four categories of outstanding buildings.
- Significant elements of the historic environment in need of conservation
Applicants will need to be able to demonstrate that a property is at serious risk from neglect of disrepair.
HS' assessment of grant applications is a competitive process that also takes account of any wider benefits that a proposed project will provide. Such benefits can include the following:
- Projects that deliver benefits for communities
These will be products that help regenerate and promote the active use and ongoing care and maintenance of the historic environment, broadening access to it, promoting sustainable economic and rural development, reinforcing local identity and sense of place.
- Projects that promote quality and develop knowledge and skills
These will be projects that promote high standards of repair and maintenance, promote training in traditional craft skills, help ensure sustainable use of indigenous building materials and the educational value of the historic environment.
HS' guiding principle is that the projects it supports should help to slow down the process of decay without damaging the historical, architectural or cultural significance of the building or structure.
It normally expects any works that it funds to be carried out using traditional methods and materials appropriate to the history and condition of the building. When replacement is necessary, it should be done on a like-for-like basis.
Because of the value it places on retaining historic fabric, HS believes that a number of small repairs are often more appropriate than complete renewal. An example of this would be piecing-in new elements in an historic sash and case window. In general, it offers grants towards 'conservative' repairs; that is, repairs that are as limited as possible in scope yet achieve their conservation objectives.
Some types of repair proposals may need to include some investigation and record-making, tailored to the needs of the particular project. This is because the above-ground fabric of a building, together with associated below-ground deposits, can contain important but subtle and fragile information about the building and its history.
HS gives grants primarily for urgent repairs or other work that needs to be done within two years, to prevent loss or damage to important architectural detail.