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11 January 2017
£65m bill to preserve Scottish heritage sites

It will cost £65m (about 79m US$ or €75m) to protect and restore Scotland's heritage sites over the next decade, according to a study on behalf of the Scottish government. The report by Historic Environment Scotland found more than half of the 352 sites it manages are at risk from hazards such as flooding and erosion. It also said climate change and extreme weather were putting 'additional stresses' on historic buildings.
     Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is responsible for managing and preserving buildings and monuments including Orkney's Neolithic sites. In its report, which was commissioned by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, it found that 89% of its sites were exposed to damaging environmental effects. Taking into account factors such as the presence of site staff and conservation teams, 53% were thought to remain at risk from hazards such as flooding and erosion, with 28 sites classified as very high risk and 160 as high risk.
     HES warned of 'resource challenges' as it estimated investment of £65m would be needed over the next ten years to ensure the "satisfactory condition" of its properties.
And it said an extra £2.1m was needed each year thereafter to sustain that condition.
     Ms Hyslop said: "Historic Environment Scotland's new conservation study gives us a detailed understanding of the impact on our own heritage sites and tells us what is required to protect and preserve them for the future." Dr David Mitchell, director of conservation at HES, said the report would "provide a basis for investment decisions over the next decade and determine how we will manage over 300 of Scotland's most cherished places and associated collections for future generations."

Edited from BBC News (9 January 2017)

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