Tuesday, 23 November 2021

Historic Environment Scotland's annual report 2020-21

From Historic Environment Scotland (www.historicenvironment.scot):

Today (23 November 2021) we published our Annual Report and Financial Statements 2020-21 & Properties in the Care (PiC) of Scottish Ministers Annual Report 2020-21.

The reports highlight how HES is delivering on its Corporate Plan - ‘Heritage For All’ and commitments, as well as providing an overview of the contribution that the organisation makes.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions had a major impact on finances for the financial year and called for an immediate and comprehensive response, HES continued to make a strong impact across a number of key areas and agendas, including climate change, communities and widening opportunities for digital engagement.

Key statistics from the year include:

  • Invested over £13 million through the HES grants programme, helping communities to restore their built heritage and improve their understanding of the past, including the launch of the Historic Environment Recovery Fund.
  • Commercial income during this period was hit by the impact of COVID-19 and fell [87%] to £8.2 million.
  • HES welcomed 246,000 visitors to the staffed sites which were able to reopen in 2020- 2021.
  • A total of £25.3 million, inclusive of staff costs, was invested in conservation, maintenance and management of the PiCs.
  • More than 80,000 digitised items were added to Canmore, our online archive site, bringing the total available to 1.1 million.
  • We continued to make a positive contribution to net zero, with carbon emissions reduced by 34.8%, bringing the total reduction over 2014 - 2021 to 54.6%.
  • Around £16.1 million generated into the Scottish economy from heritage tourism.

The full period of this Annual Report took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and the various lockdowns imposed to contain the outbreak. All staffed visitor sites were closed for the majority of the reporting period, with the re-opening of over 70% of staffed and free to access sites last summer followed just a few months later by their re-closure over the winter lockdown.

For more on the story read the full press announcement at https://www.historicenvironment.scot/about-us/news/our-annual-report-2020-21/ and the report itself at https://www.historicenvironment.scot/archives-and-research/publications/publication/?publicationId=7ccaad05-36eb-476b-a622-ade200f6989e

Comment: In terms of online resources, the report notes the following:

DIGITISED AND MADE AVAILABLE MORE THAN 80,000 images and files, bringing the total available to over 1.1 MILLION
((2019–20: 170,000 (1 million total), down 53%))

The HES also notes that "We revised our Digital Strategy, which redefines the place of digital in the future of our services, and the implementation plan was approved by HES Board in March 2021."


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