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02/02/15 15:00

Scots value heritage and culture

Nine in 10 say historic buildings should be well looked after.

A new survey shows nine in ten Scots agree heritage buildings and places should be well looked after – and nine in ten have taken part in cultural activities in the past year.

The figures, taken from the Scottish Household Survey 2013, show that people in Scotland are engaged in and value culture and heritage.

  • Nearly nine in ten (89 per cent) of adults agreed that “It is important to me that heritage buildings and places are well looked after” – while only 3 per cent disagreed with the statement. And seven in ten (72 per cent) agreed that the heritage in their local area is well looked after.
  • Fifty seven per cent agreed that there are lots of opportunities to get involved in culture and the arts, with sixteen per cent disagreeing.
  • 54 per cent of adults strongly agreed or tended to agree with the statement “Culture and the arts make a positive difference to my local area”, while 17 per cent disagreed with this statement.

The figures give further detail on the Scottish Household Survey, which showed nine in ten (91 per cent) of adults in Scotland engaged in culture in 2013 . Four in five adults (80 per cent) attended a cultural event or place of culture and 78 per cent participated in a cultural activity in the previous 12 months.

However, 33 per cent of people in Scotland’s most deprived areas were more likely to agree that culture and the arts are “not really for people like me” compared to 16 per cent in the least deprived areas.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said:

“These figures show the value the Scottish people place on culture and heritage, with nine in ten adults engaging in cultural activities in 2013, and the same number agreeing that it is important that our heritage buildings and places are well looked after.

“Culture underpins the very fabric of our national life as well as bringing wider social and economic benefits. These figures show that people across Scotland appreciate the value of culture and heritage.

“Our new First Minister has set out her ‘One Scotland’ Programme for Government. This underlined the Government’s intentions about how we create a wealthier and more equal society. Tackling social justice and reducing inequalities in Scotland is one of our most important priorities, which is why we are pleased to work in partnership with bodies and agencies across Scotland because we know that culture and heritage have an important role to play.

“We are committed to protecting and promoting Scotland’s heritage and we have established Historic Environment Scotland as the new lead body to take forward the government’s contribution to delivering Scotland’s first national strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time, to ensure our diverse historic environment is understood, valued, cared for, protected, enjoyed and enhanced - now and for future generations. Our Place in Time, makes increasing participation in heritage a priority, especially among those who feel it is ‘not for me’ and there is a dedicated group established, with wide representation, to take this forward.

“Our work with young people under the umbrella of Scotland’s youth arts strategy, Time To Shine, is similarly designed to ensure that no-one’s background is a barrier to taking part in cultural life. It is supported by initiatives including the Youth Music Initiative, and Cashback for Creativity.

“Government funding helps to support programmes such as Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise Orchestras in Govanhill and Raploch; Get Scotland Dancing, which brought dance to 66,000 participants throughout Scotland; and Aspire Dundee, delivering cultural activities to 9 schools in the city. These are helping young people across Scotland to take part in the arts. Our primary route for this support is through our arts body, Creative Scotland which is tasked with delivery of Time To Shine.”

“Through all these activities, the Scottish Government is working to ensure that everyone in Scotland has an opportunity to access, enjoy and benefit from our culture and heritage.

Notes to editors

Attendance at "a cultural event or place of culture" is defined as those adults who attend at least one type of cultural place in the previous year. There are a number of different types of cultural events and places of culture. Examples of these include cinemas, libraries and live music events. For a complete list of cultural places or events see the Glossary in Annex 2 of the Scottish Household Survey 2013 Annual Report here:

Likewise, participation in any cultural activity means that adults take part in at least one activity in the previous year. Examples of cultural activities include reading for pleasure, dancing and crafts. The Glossary in Annex 2 (link above) provides a complete list of activities which are classed as cultural participation.

Cultural engagement is defined as those adults who have either participated in a cultural activity or who have attended at least one type of cultural place in the previous 12 months.

The main Scottish Household Survey was released in August 2014. These figures are from a topical report from this survey, which can be found here: This is the first time this report has been done in this way and so the figures cannot be compared to previous figures.