HES in the Scottish Budget 2021-22

Details of funding for Historic Environment Scotland in the Scottish Government’s draft budget.

This budget summary was prepared as part of the State of Heritage 2021-22 event held on 4 February 2021.

The Scottish Government published its Budget 2021-22 on 28th January with details on the funding of Historic Environment Scotland within the Economy, Fair Work and Culture portfolio.

The total budget forecast for HES in 2021-22 is £91.3 million, a decrease of just under 9% on the previous year’s budget. The budget forecasts an income generation of £44.1m which at this point in time seems ambitious. However, the grant in aid figure of £55.9 million will be augmented by a further £20 million drawn from the allocation of COVID consequentials. With a total grant from Scottish Government of £75.9 million therefore, HES will only need to generate income of £15.3 million to meet the forecast budget for 2021-22. This is a 75% decrease over the previous year’s forecast income.

Arguably the comparison with the previous year’s budget is now moot given the drop in income generated by HES in a year with little tourist activity, albeit augmented by the additional £37.1m the organisation received via Scottish Government mid-year which came from the £97m UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors.

Unlike previous years, the budget makes no comment on HES role as a grant funder only stating that HES will continue “caring for our heritage and communities, creating local training and employment and supporting the maintenance of traditional craft skills.” The Scottish Government has dispensed around £14.5 million funding annually through HES for more than a decade.

Level 3 2019-20 Budget 2020-21 Budget 2021-22 Budget 
Operational Costs 93.5 100.1 91.3 
Capital Expenditure 6.0 6.0 6.0 
Less Income (59.7) (63.3) (41.4) 
Total Historic Environment Scotland 39.842.855.9

Below are some further figures from the budget that have implications for the wider built environment and it must be said that, More Homes aside, the budget is a broadly positive outcome given the year past and what looks to be ahead.

Level 3 2019-20 Budget 2020-21 Budget 2021-22 Budget
Architecture and Place
Building Standards
Planning 6.58.311.5
Planning and Environmental Appeals
More Homes 788.7896.1628.1
Fuel Poverty/Energy Efficiency 119.6137.1145.6
Regeneration 42.347.481.6
Vacant and Derelict Land Grant
Creative Scotland and Other Arts 66.067.363.2
Cultural Collections 74.679.275.7
Major Events and Themed Years
Culture and Major Events Staffing
National Performing Companies 22.922.922.9
National Parks 13.413.917.5
Natural Resources, Peatland and Flooding 4.629.734.1
Scottish Environmental Protection Agency 34.437.143.5
NatureScot 46.549.150.2
Zero Waste 20.516.540.2
Land Reform 15.615.014.9
Scottish Land Commission


City Region and Growth Deals3.811.2
Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company0.50.5
Capital Land and Works22.022.0
City Region and Growth Deals201.0198.1
Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company5.05.0
Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS)55.058.0
Regeneration Capital Grant Fund25.025.0
Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme5.0
Place, Town Centres and 20 Minute Neighbourhoods23.0