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Archaeological Projects (Support)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th November 2018.

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Photo of Gail Ross Gail Ross Scottish National Party

5. To ask the Scottish Government what help and support it offers to archaeological projects. (S5O-02613)

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

I and the Scottish Government recognise the importance of our historical environment and the wealth of historical structures across the country. Many are at the heart of the communities that have worked hardest to secure their future.

Scottish Government funding for archaeology is channelled via Historic Environment Scotland grant schemes. Despite recent financial constraints, we have maintained Historic Environment Scotland external grants at £14.5 million per year, with £4.1 million being allocated for archaeology.

A great deal of information about the schemes is available on the Historic Environment Scotland website, and staff offer potential applicants comprehensive pre-application advice, and support and advice through to completion.

Photo of Gail Ross Gail Ross Scottish National Party

Caithness Broch Project in my constituency is doing some fantastic work in bringing the county’s broch history to life. At this point, I would like to draw members’ attention to my entry in the register of members’ interests, as a patron of the organisation. It plans to build a full-size broch and is undertaking various projects with schools and in the community. Will the minister or the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs agree to meet representatives of Caithness Broch Project to hear about all the work that it is currently doing and its plans for the future?

Photo of Ben Macpherson Ben Macpherson Scottish National Party

I am aware of Caithness Broch Project and am particularly impressed by its efforts to use and engage with local communities, particularly children. The Scottish Government appreciates the work that is being undertaken by the project to promote Caithness’s rich archaeological history, and its proposal to build a full-scale broch as a visitor attraction. Engagement in a project of this nature is best undertaken as an operational issue with Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, other Government agencies and the local council, at this stage in the development of the proposals, so it would not be appropriate for ministers to be involved.

However, if we can be of assistance in encouraging and facilitating such engagement, I would be happy to consider that. I wish Gail Ross and the project well in their on-going endeavours.