2013 Yearbook

26 Y E A R B O O K 2 0 1 3 • Improving the standard, consistency and availability of information and training, ensuring appropriate qualifications to meet needs. • Demonstrating the relevance of traditional skills to the current building stock in terms of emerging opportunities such as energy efficiency and sustainability and promoting the broader value of conservation. • Making more effective use of grants and investment to improve provision of training to help stimulate demand for appropriate skills. Historic Scotland is bringing together its internal training activities with the further education and wider historic environment sectors. A range of training courses and qualifications will be developed including continuing professional development for conservation managers, local authority officers and college lecturers. The education of decision-makers has a key role to play in stimulating the demand for craftspeople who have the skills to repair traditional buildings appropriately. Technical conservation knowledge base For many years Historic Scotland has been undertaking research and working in collaboration with the wider sector including universities and research institutions. Information has been disseminated through events and an internationally respected series of technical publications with over 150 titles. A new website, Technical Conservation Knowledge Base, will provide a more dynamic forum for existing and new information and allow additional forms of dissemination such as online publications, videos and slidecasts (see Further Information). Many publications are now available through an online reader or as free PDF downloads, with the option of purchasing hard copies from the online shop. By registering with the site, users can also participate in discussion forums and store material on a personalised home page. Technical publications Historic Scotland has recently launched a series of short guides aimed at historic environment professionals which cover a range of topics and draw on recent research and technical developments. The series was launched in late 2012 with the publication of two guides Fabric Improvements for Energy Efficiency in Traditional Buildings and Lead Theft: Guidance on Protecting Traditional Buildings (both available from the Historic Scotland website). Forthcoming short guides will address war memorial conservation and historic concrete structures. Others will cover a range of traditional materials such as brick, timber and iron. The existing series of ‘inform guides’, providing information for homeowners and non-specialists, is currently being updated, with a number of new titles to be published in 2013. A national conservation centre for Scotland Historic Scotland will open a new facility in 2015 in Stirling as a hub for conservation training in Scotland. The centre, housed in a converted railway engine shed, will provide a focus for the sector to showcase and impart specialist knowledge and skills for heritage conservation and traditional buildings. It will include workshops and seminar rooms, a lecture theatre and exhibition spaces that will host outreach and hands-on training events. The centre will be open to the public, providing an opportunity to visit exhibitions, acquire technical literature and see practical conservation work in progress. Historic Scotland has recently increased its provision of masonry training with two new state-of-the-art masonry workshops at Forth Valley College in Stirling, complementing the existing training facility at Elgin and providing capacity for 30 additional apprentices. This represents a first step in increasing training in traditional skills and conservation expertise across Scotland, working with existing training providers, the further and higher education sectors, and other partners. Driving the agenda forward Historic Scotland is working closely with the construction and further education sectors to improve the information available for training, to build capacity among trainers and to develop course content that is focussed on current needs. Scotland’s historic environment contributes more than £2.3 billion to the Scottish economy and is key to sustaining economic growth. Emerging issues such as climate change adaptation and the drive for energy efficiency are providing new opportunities to work with industry and improve practice. In these challenging times, it is more important than ever to find new ways to increase the effectiveness of training and knowledge transfer in order to strengthen the capacity of the sector. Further Information Historic Scotland Technical Conservation Knowledge Base http:// conservation.historic-scotland.gov.uk Laser scan image of the former railway engine shed in Stirling that will house Scotland’s new National Conservation Centre in 2015