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About Us

Why is the historic environment important?

An overview of the importance of the historic environment to Scotland’s economy, cultural identity and sense of place.

Urquhart Castle pictured from a boat on Loch Ness.

The historic environment is one of our most precious assets. It contributes to our economy, to our cultural identity and to our sense of place. Without it, Scotland wouldn’t be Scotland.  

Our historic environment supports more than 60,000 jobs – 2.5% of Scotland’s total employment. It contributes £2.3 billion to the national gross value added (GVA). There is tourism, obviously, but also jobs and work for local businesses in its care and restoration.  

It was forecast that 3.76 million visits would be made to Historic Scotland sites in 2015–16. That’s 102,000 more visits than the previous year

These are hard economic reasons why the historic environment is so important to Scotland. For many overseas visitors who come to Scotland to learn more about our history and heritage, our historic environment is what defines our nation. 

It also contributes to our own cultural identity and sense of place 

The historic environment is all around usTown and countryside are crammed full of character, which we can enjoy and engage with easily and every day. The places we live, work and visit tell us how people have shaped our society and landscape over time. These stories connect us with our roots. 


Historic Environment Scotland 
Longmore House 
Salisbury Place 
EH9 1SH 

Telephone: 0131 668 8600
Email: website@hes.scot