Date lodged: 17 September 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to ensure that, where possible, public bodies use local natural stone in buildings.
Answered by: Fiona Hyslop 1 October 2018
As the lead public body for our historic environment Historic Environment Scotland (HES) promotes the use of traditional building materials (which can be locally sourced) in relation to the care and maintenance of historic building stock, where appropriate, including in relation to historic properties in the care of public bodies. HES works closely with the Scottish Stone Group and wider stone industry sector to support the production and use of natural Scottish stone. HES has an ongoing Collaborative Partnership Agreement with the British Geological Survey in order to promote the use and production of natural stone in Scotland. As part of this Agreement, HES launched a publicly accessible Building Stone Database for Scotland in June 2018 to provide information on historic and current sources of traditionally used building stone across Scotland.
As part of the organisation's Action Framework for traditional building materials, due to be finalised later this year, HES is committing to producing guidance on the specification and procurement of traditional Scottish materials, including stone, for public bodies. HES has also produced a ‘Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance note on External Walls’ which acknowledges local materials and traditions as an important element in defining the character of the building in question. The guidance note also promotes maintenance and appropriate repair as the best means of safeguarding the character of historic buildings.