As the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, explained in a letter to Tavish Scott on 2 May, discussions on the proposed improvements to visitor facilities at Jarlshof remain on-going. Legitimate questions have been raised about best value for money for the public and taxpayers, and ministers await further advice that the position has been addressed. The cabinet secretary has asked Historic Environment Scotland to ensure that matters are expedited in so far as is within its control.
Historic Environment Scotland is aware of the vital need for facilities at Jarlshof, as has been expressed, and that the current provision is not sustainable. It has been considering its options and has kept ministers informed of developments. However, as I am sure Tavish Scott is aware, there are legal sensitivities around the current negotiations relating to the proposals to improve parking and visitor facilities. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for me to go into any detail on those on-going discussions at this time. What is more, as would always be the case in any process of this nature, it is the responsibility of ministers to ensure that best value for money can be evidenced.
I will ensure that Historic Environment Scotland is asked to make contact with the member to further discuss these matters and to inform him of any updates, as appropriate.