Glasgow City Council recently learned about the findings of its recent Heritage best value review, and approved the release of funding for Glasgow City Heritage Trust.
The maintenance of Glasgow’s built heritage – the city has over 1800 listed buildings – is a key part of the council’s Strategic Plan. The council has a substantial portfolio of ‘heritage’ buildings, managed under the recently adopted Heritage Assets Plan.
As part of its commitment to the city’s built heritage, the council funds two organisations that aim to promote, protect and enhance it: Glasgow City Preservation Trust (GBPT) and Glasgow City Heritage Trust (GCHT).
GBPT is Glasgow’s only building preservation body, acting as a ‘developer of last resort’ in the preservation and regeneration of historic buildings, including Buildings at Risk. GBPT has many years of experience and expertise in its role, usually working on behalf of local communities or communities of interest. GBPT fundraise for each project that it delivers and has a track-record of securing significant capital funding from a range of funders. GBPT also co-ordinates the successful annual Doors Open Day Festival. The council provides £50,000 of core annual funding to GBPT with a further £45,000 of events funding.
GCHT is one of seven City Heritage Trusts in Scotland, running a grants programme to aid the repair and restoration of historic buildings, as well as education, training and outreach programmes. The council provides £50,000 of core annual funding, and a further £190,000 of grant funding, to GCHT. This is in line with the commitment made to provide contributory funding to augment Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) £750,000 contribution towards funding of the built heritage of Glasgow. This combined funding supports direct grant funding to building owners in Glasgow to allow them to undertake works in their listed buildings. The HES funding is conditional on the council’s contribution of £190,000.
The report on the council-commissioned independent best value review into the city’s built heritage found that both organisations provide good value for the allocated funding. For more detail on the report, visit: https://www.glasgow.gov.uk/
A number of recommendations were made in the report:
- The adoption of a partnership model, which reduces the property burden upon the local authority. HES is supportive of this type of model and it has the potential to provide sustainable, inclusive, heritage-led regeneration;
- Maximise the potential for the two organisations to access external funding for Glasgow’s historic environment, through applications for large-scale heritage-led regeneration schemes such as (for example) Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Renewal Schemes;
- Explore other ways in which GCHT and GBPT could work in closer partnership with each other and the council to protect and enhance the City’s historic environment, such as working jointly with the council to deliver aspects of the council’s Heritage Assets Plan. This working would see a joint analysis of the heritage estate carried out by GCHT and/or GBPT in partnership with the council;
- A formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) – or similar suitable arrangement – be put in place to clearly set out the relationships between the council, GBPT and GCHT. The MoU/partnership arrangement will document the roles and responsibilities, governance and reporting arrangements and financial obligations of all the parties; and
- Explore the potential of GCHT and GBPT working more closely with other organisations such as HubWest and similar bodies.
Current funding arrangements will be kept in place to ensure that grant commitments are met, that the grant funding from HES is secured, and to ensure the financial sustainability of both heritage organisations.