Historic Environment (Preservation of Buildings and Landmarks)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd January 2020.

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Photo of Margaret Mitchell Margaret Mitchell Conservative

1. To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to preserve buildings and landmarks of historic interest. (S5O-04027)

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government preserves and protects buildings and landmarks of historic interest through the work of our lead public body, Historic Environment Scotland

. That work includes providing £14.5 million annually for grant schemes that enable the repair and revitalisation of the historic environment.

Last year, funding of £180,000 was provided to the internationally celebrated New Lanark world heritage site for its annual maintenance plan. In addition, targeted funding was given for individual local concerns such as the David Livingstone centre in South Lanarkshire, which received over £600,000 for conservation-standard repairs.

Photo of Margaret Mitchell Margaret Mitchell Conservative

The Hamilton mausoleum, which was built as a monument to the 10th Duke of Hamilton, is an iconic landmark of huge cultural and historical interest in Lanarkshire, but it has water damage and needs repair urgently. The save the Hamilton mausoleum trust has been set up, and a local campaign has been launched by the

Hamilton Advertiser to raise funds to repair the damage before costs spiral out of control. Will the cabinet secretary add her support to that initiative, and can she suggest any organisation that could match fund or provide any other support to ensure that that essential work is completed as soon as possible?

Photo of Fiona Hyslop Fiona Hyslop Scottish National Party

I am aware of the importance of the Hamilton mausoleum and the campaign that is being run. Indeed, it was the subject of a question from Monica Lennon at my previous portfolio question time. I know that there is cross-party support for the campaign, including among my Scottish National Party colleagues and among the member’s party.

As I said in my answer a few weeks ago, Historic Environment Scotland has not been approached about the building, but it would welcome the opportunity to work with any parties that come forward to identify ways to secure its sustainable future management. I know that the leader of South Lanarkshire Council has acknowledged its commitment to preserving the cultural importance of the building, but I think that everybody has to come together to make sure that there is a sustainable future for what is an important part of Scotland’s and Lanarkshire’s heritage.