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IMPACT Scotland Develops New Edinburgh Arts Centre Proposal

Charitable trust IMPACT Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), have developed a proposal to create a new “world class” arts centre in the heartof Edinburgh. The facility is located directly behind Dundas House at 36 St Andrew Square. It will be the new home of the SCO,

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£6.6m Funding for Conservation of Historic Sites.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop has today confirmed a £6.6 million capital boost to support investment in conservation work, repairs and visitor facilities at several of Scotland’s iconic heritage sites and monuments. The announcement follows the publication today of the most comprehensive conservation assessment ever undertaken on the properties in care

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Your Move Highlights Slowed Growth of Scottish Property Rents

In the latest property news, mixed views can be perceived in the varying performance of renting rates across Scotland, in comparison to those rates witnessed, and reported on for across England and Wales. The figures, effectively showcasing the overall rise in rent rates across the UK, display that Scottish property

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£25m of Funding Confirmed for Residential Properties in Rural Scotland

Nodding to the increasing importance for expansive, affordable housing assets to solve the modern-day housing crisis, circa £25m has recently been made available through the newly announced Rural Housing Fund. Expected to support the delivery of increased long-term, affordable housing assets in the countryside, the fund looks to provide grant-based

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Apprenticeships on the Rise in Scotland

Apprenticeships play an integral role in supporting the future growth of the construction industry, helping organisations to expand their workforce whilst minimising costs and overcoming challenges across the industry with regard to skill shortages. Luckily, it appears that Scottish businesses are stepping up to the challenge, playing their part and

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Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024

scotland

IMPACT Scotland Develops New Edinburgh Arts Centre Proposal

Charitable trust IMPACT Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO), have developed a proposal to create a new “world class” arts centre in the heartof Edinburgh. The facility is located directly behind Dundas House at 36 St Andrew Square. It will be the new home of the SCO, and will also be a venue for public engagement, conferences and education. The developers say that he centrepiece will be a 1,00 seat auditorium, along with a studio that will provide recording, recital and rehearsal space that will “rival the best in Europe.” The plans also state that the historic Royal bank of Scotland branch will carry on operating as a stand-alone branch. A new restaurant, bar and café facilities will also be created to complement the development. IMPACT Scotland will take the responsibility for overseeing the construction of the new building and will operate and manage the complex. The trust will soon begin the process of inviting expressions of interest from architect-led design teams, along with an acoustic expert, with the intention of making appointments early in 2017. Initial talks with the Scottish Government and the City of Edinburgh Council on possible public sector partnerships have been positive and are ongoing. Proposal backers said that the auditorium would meet the long recognised need for a purpose built, mid-sized performance venue in Edinburgh, that will combine excellent acoustics with access for all forms of popular music, jazz, folk, chamber and other small classical music groups as well as solo and song recitals and small dance ensembles. Sir Ewan Brown, who has been chairing the IMPACT Scotland Project Board said: “I see this is a global opportunity for a global city, combining the best of the old and the new to establish a venue that will attract performers, audiences and visitors from around the world.”

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£6.6m Funding for Conservation of Historic Sites.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop has today confirmed a £6.6 million capital boost to support investment in conservation work, repairs and visitor facilities at several of Scotland’s iconic heritage sites and monuments. The announcement follows the publication today of the most comprehensive conservation assessment ever undertaken on the properties in care of Scottish Ministers. Commissioned by Ms Hyslop, the study provides for the first time, a comprehensive picture of the condition of more than 300 properties managed by Historic Environment Scotland on behalf of Ministers, and sets out the work required to address the impacts of deterioration and climate change. The report estimates conservation and repair work to the value of £65m is required over ten years to restore and protect heritage sites for future generations. The additional funding announced today will enable conservation work to start at priority sites including Doune, Stirling and Edinburgh Castles during 2017 – the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Ms Hyslop said: “From Doune Castle to Skara Brae, these iconic buildings and monuments represent more than 6,000 years of Scottish history and include a number of internationally significant sites that attract thousands of visitors every year. “But by their nature they are often difficult to care for and require specialist expertise to repair. Adding to this challenge, it is well understood that climate change is speeding up the natural process of decay at heritage sites across the world. “Historic Environment Scotland’s new conservation study gives us a detailed understanding of the impact on our own heritage sites and tells us what is required to protect and preserve them for the future. “The funding I have announced today underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to protecting and promoting our rich history and heritage and will enable conservation work to begin at several of our treasured heritage sites.” Dr David Mitchell, director of conservation at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “This report is a milestone for Historic Environment Scotland a year on from the merger between Historic Scotland and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. “It is a significant piece of work, unprecedented for this estate, that will provide a basis for investment decisions over the next decade and determine how we will manage over 300 of Scotland’s most cherished places and associated collections for future generations.”

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Your Move Highlights Slowed Growth of Scottish Property Rents

In the latest property news, mixed views can be perceived in the varying performance of renting rates across Scotland, in comparison to those rates witnessed, and reported on for across England and Wales. The figures, effectively showcasing the overall rise in rent rates across the UK, display that Scottish property rents, although successfully rising, have only done so at two thirds of the rate seen in England and Wales, with a rise of circa 2.1% each year – reported in the latest but to let index from Your Move. Across England and Wales, an increase of rents has been reported to sit at some 3.3% each year, greatly outpacing the aforementioned rise in Scotland. Additionally, it has even been highlighted that pockets of Scotland have even witnessed periods of stagnation in rent prices on a monthly basis, with some areas, including Glasgow and the Highlands actually facing a fall in rents compared with January. The result come at a curious time, with Scotland simultaneously seeing a period of extensive governmental intervention into the private rent market, whilst simultaneously experiencing markedly slowed down growth in rents. Though, as highlighted by Brian Moran, Your Move Scotland’s Lettings Director, the figures do indeed still point to a degree of growth, yet against a considerable degree of stronger tenant finances. “Like any market, affordability is a fundamental check on prices. Rental arrears are a great benchmark of affordability in the market, and their frequency is falling,” explained Brian Moran. In fact, it is not the first time in which governmental intervention has led to similar levels of effect, likened to the 2012 tenancy fee abolition. Yet, how the sector now reacts to the changes presently being faced, and also how plans are made to ensure continued profitability in the sector, is yet to be fully seen – time, however, will tell.

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£25m of Funding Confirmed for Residential Properties in Rural Scotland

Nodding to the increasing importance for expansive, affordable housing assets to solve the modern-day housing crisis, circa £25m has recently been made available through the newly announced Rural Housing Fund. Expected to support the delivery of increased long-term, affordable housing assets in the countryside, the fund looks to provide grant-based financial support for both the construction of new housing and also of developing existing properties into suitable housing. Effectively, the fund can be defined by two different mediums of support. The primary purpose of the fund is to offer direct support through loans and grants as aforementioned, however access will also be provided to an additional feasibility fund of up to £10,000 which will exist to provide property developers with the ability to assess prospective schemes whilst then also developing full, proper applications for the main funding on offer. This, in effect, allows developers at various stages, both those already invested in the area, and those looking to develop into new, “unknown” areas, to have a degree of support and protection for their endeavours. As mentioned, levels of support is also to be made accessible for the redevelopment of existing, empty properties and also the use-conversion of non-residential properties into that of residential housing asset; the properties then to be placed on the market for either rent or sale, provided that it is at an affordable level. As for who will be eligible for the fund itself, it has been confirmed that the support will be accessible to legally constituted bodies, including development trusts, housing trusts, developers and landowners; collaboration is also encouraged between these relevant different parties in a bid to support a robust approach to delivering the much-needed housing assets. Commenting on the importance of the fund in supporting the development of such properties in the countryside, Margaret Burgess, Housing Minister commented that: “We know building affordable housing in rural areas presents different challenges compared to urban areas.” As such, the fun is positions to provided this stream of support to make up the difference in commercial viability between the two different geographic archetypes.

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Apprenticeships on the Rise in Scotland

Apprenticeships play an integral role in supporting the future growth of the construction industry, helping organisations to expand their workforce whilst minimising costs and overcoming challenges across the industry with regard to skill shortages. Luckily, it appears that Scottish businesses are stepping up to the challenge, playing their part and have, as such, achieved a five-year high in the number of construction apprentices recruited in 2015. With circa 1,876 apprentices recruited over the course of the year, 2015 represents a great milestone in overcoming the skill shortages by bringing in new blood to the industry. These figures highlight a 32% increase in the number of apprentices taken back in 2011, which sat at 1,422, as reported by the CITB. The figures come shortly before Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2016, which is also set to encourage organisations to take on more apprentices as a method of bringing new staff into their organisations more easily, and more cost-effectively. Funding provided by the CITB is available for all employed apprentices, which sits at £10,250, and offers a much-needed line of support for smaller businesses keen to expand, yet without the cashflow required to recruit further staff. With an estimated 21,000 new staff expected to be required over the course of the coming five years, the funding, and apprenticeships as a whole, offers a simple and effective route for employers both small and large to secure and train new staff effectively. Further information on how organisations can secure apprentices, as well as information on how would-be apprentices can secure positions within the construction industry, can be found one the Go Construct website, heralded by CITB’s Strategic Partnerships Director, Ian Hughes as: “A fantastic resource for employers and apprentices to find out about the support available, and the wealth of careers on offer.” And with the growing need for skilled workers rising with every coming day, we can only expect this vital industry resource to be much-welcomed by the wider sector.

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