Historic Buildings and Monuments

– in the Scottish Parliament on 11th December 2019.

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Photo of Monica Lennon Monica Lennon Labour

4. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to support Scotland’s historic buildings and monuments. (S5O-03902)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government supports historic buildings and monuments through the work of our lead public body, Historic Environment Scotland. That includes providing £14.5 million annually for grant schemes, which enable repair and revitalisation of the historic environment.

Last year, funding helped to support individual buildings including the David Livingstone centre in South Lanarkshire, which received more than £600,000 for conservation-standard repairs, and provided wider investment for places in Monica Lennon’s region—for example, though the conservation area regeneration scheme in Coatbridge, which received £800,000 to support heritage-led regeneration in the town.

Photo of Monica Lennon Monica Lennon Labour

I thank the cabinet secretary for her response.

The cabinet secretary might be aware of the significance of the historic mausoleum in Hamilton and its importance to the town, and of the worrying news earlier this year that the cost of maintenance repairs to that historic building could risk its future. Has she had discussions on that with South Lanarkshire Council? In the light of the real-terms cuts to the council’s overall budget, can she advise whether any of the national funding that she mentioned could be made available for that project?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

Monica Lennon will be aware of the fair local government settlement that was achieved for South Lanarkshire Council and other councils.

On the detail that she asked about, I understand that the Hamilton mausoleum needs repair, particularly for water damage. It is a 120 feet high Roman-style mausoleum, which is category A listed and has been an important landmark in Hamilton since the 1850s. Local politicians—including Christina McKelvie, who is the constituency MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse—have actively supported the save the Hamilton mausoleum trust’s campaign. As far as I am aware, the council has not approached the Scottish Government. Our understanding is that Historic Environment Scotland, which would be the lead body, has not been approached regarding the building either, but would welcome the opportunity to work with any parties, including the council, if they can help to identify ways to secure its sustainable future management.