The launch of Historic Environment Scotland's first corporate plan on Tuesday was an inspiring event - a combination of the fabulous venue (Paisley Abbey)and thepassion demonstrated by various speakers including former volunteers and stewards.

HES took the opportunity to announce £10m new funding available under the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme -a scheme which Paisley has already take advantage of.

In the current climate, there is an increased focus on Scotland's historic assets as drivers of economic growth and regeneration. So it was good to hear Michael McGuiness of West Dunbartonshire Council describing the positive experience WDC is having working in partnership with HES and others on the Dumbarton Rock and Castle project. Collaborative working is certainly a key theme ofthe HES plan.

Continued investment is key, particularly if we expect the assets to work harder for us, but undoubtedly challenging. As in other areas, public/private partnerships are on the agenda. Interesting to hear that HES are looking to other jurisdictions such as Italy for inspiration.

The 02 Paisley Abbey?... We'll see.


Neil Collar