28 November 2012
A summit on Scotland's built heritage has identified that 75 percent of the nation's traditional dwellings show 'disrepair to critical elements'. ...
A summit on Scotland's built heritage has identified that 75 percent of the nation's traditional dwellings show 'disrepair to critical elements'. The problem was highlighted by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, when she addressed the Stimulating Demand for Traditional Skills Ministerial Summit at Forth Valley College in Stirling on 19 November.
Ms Hyslop is now urging householders in Scotland to take a more active role in safeguarding the nation’s built heritage, after figures showed that the majority of pre-1919 traditional properties are in need of urgent repair. According to findings announced at the summit, which was organised by Historic Scotland:
- 75 percent of the nation's traditional dwellings show disrepair to critical elements such as roofing and external walls.
- 53 percent of these dwellings are in need of 'urgent repair.
Traditional Building Healthcheck Scheme
At the conference, Ms Hyslop announced that Historic Scotland is to pilot a Traditional Building Healthcheck scheme, which will help owners identify problems and suggest how they can best be tackled, and said traditional skills could also encourage employment and sustainable housing, tackle climate change, and assist economic recovery. She said: 'Scotland’s built heritage is central to our understanding of who we are, and where we come from. It defines our character and reveals much about our interaction with the natural world. Traditional dwellings are a hallmark of our creativity, ingenuity and practical prowess, yet few people realise that much of this irreplaceable resource is in serious decline.
'The evidence produced by Historic Scotland is unequivocal. These are good buildings, some of which have been poorly maintained, and their declining condition is a cause for serious concern. I can announce that I have directed Historic Scotland to launch a pilot project - the Traditional Building Healthcheck scheme, which will help property owners identify problems and stimulate demand for traditional building skills.
'This will complement the agency’s wider partnership working with others in the sector, and stakeholders and the public, to ensure that active steps are taken now to reverse this decline in our built heritage.'
Federation of Master Builders, Director Grahame Barn said: 'We strongly support Historic Scotland’s Traditional Building Healthcheck scheme. Identifying problems quickly can prevent small jobs becoming, large expensive headaches for homeowners. The scheme is an excellent way to raise awareness of the repair and maintenance of traditional buildings, as well as sustaining small local construction companies, who provide jobs and train apprentices in traditional building skills.'
Image copyright Derek Harper, Geograph Project
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