Scotland's oldest ship among recipients of £194,000 Coasts and Waters heritage funding

16 November 2020
Scottish Crannog Centre, Perth & Kinross
Scotland’s oldest ship, an A-listed harbour and an iron age dwelling are all set to benefit from funding as part of Scotland’s Year of Coast and Waters.

Grants of £3,000 to £20,000 have been awarded to projects which deliver benefits to the local community through outreach and educational activities, repairs to stabilise historic or marine structures, developing traditional skills and increasing understanding of Scotland’s coasts and waters heritage.

The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund is a one-off competitive fund which launched in March to celebrate Scotland’s themed year. 

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of HES, explained more: “The Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund was launched to empower communities to protect, promote and engage with Scotland’s coastal and waterway heritage as well as adapting to the effects of current challenges such as climate change. What the range of projects have shown is that our coastal heritage is a fabric that runs through communities, both in terms of sense of place but also how it has shaped people’s lives as well as how coastal communities are continuing to adapt to the effects of current challenges such as climate change. I am confident that these projects will deliver significant benefits to local communities throughout Scotland and I look forward to seeing the progress unfold over the next few months.”

Heritage sites and projects

The below map shows the full list of fund recipients. They include:

Urras nan Tursachan, Western Isles: £19,920 
The Exploring the Landscape of Calanais project will train local volunteers to survey and record the coastal landscape at Calanais, the intertidal zone and the waters of Loch Roag using geophysics and traditional survey techniques to gain new insights into the site.

The Unicorn Preservation Society, Dundee: £19,045
The funding will support a project to increase interpretation and understanding of HMS Unicorn, the oldest ship built in Britain still afloat, which is currently at risk. The project will deliver structural modelling to further improve understanding of the vessel’s condition and forms part of a larger project to see the ship moved to the A-listed East Graving Dock in Dundee to create a Maritime Heritage Centre.

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The structural modelling will provide a way to test the resilience of the ship to the effects of climate change and provide information on how to mitigate the negative consequences of the natural environment. 

The Whithorn Trust, Dumfries and Galloway: £19,000 
The Machars Waterborne Project will focus on the water-related archaeology on the Machars peninsula in Galloway. The two-part community archaeology project will offer training workshops on lidar visualisation and analysis and interpretation to enhance understanding of coastal archaeology which will help to create a valuable resource for the management of sites affected by climate change.

The project will involve an online community of local and remote volunteers and local secondary schools. There will also be hands-on activities to construct a traditional coracle and canoe and a travelling exhibition will be created to engage a wider audience in coastal and water-related heritage.

The Scottish Crannog Centre, Perthshire: £18,723 
The funding will assist with repairs to repair the walkway and decking surrounding the Scottish Crannog Centre – a reconstruction of an iron age loch dwelling that sits in Loch Tay – to ensure continued visitor access to the site and museum and improve its resilience. An outreach project between the Scottish Crannog Centre and a local primary school will also take place to create a poem that will be inscribed on the bridge at the centre. The project will also explore the importance of the Crannogs to communities from an intergenerational aspect, considering how the community shares stories and myths.

The Glasgow Canal Co-op, Glasgow: £13,416 
The funding will allow the Glasgow Canal Co-op to recruit a dedicated Heritage Engagement Officer to research and promote the heritage elements associated with the Glasgow canal area and increase the understanding of these through community engagement activities.

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Friends of St Ninian’s, Orkney: £4,083 
The funding will support a project to engage local volunteers to produce a GIS resource to collate archive material about Newark Bay cemetery and chapel into one platform. This will include a geophysical survey that will be available to the community, researchers and the public.


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