A major conference to take place in Edinburgh  aims to harness future opportunities for development and growth in the country’s world class heritage sector.

On 26th April at the Balmoral Hotel, the one-day conference coincides with the European Year of Cultural Heritage, an EU initiative that celebrates Europe’s diverse cultural heritage across Europe – at EU, national, regional and local level. Official figures from Historic Environment Scotland indicate that Scotland’s historic environment contributes £2.3 billion annually to the Scottish economy and supports more than 55,000 full time equivalent jobs.

Entitled “Inspiring Fundraising: A National Heritage Conference”, the event will feature special sessions with motivational speakers including Lucy Gower  founder and director of innovation consultancy Lucidity who will lead a practical session challenging attendees to think creatively and adapt their fundraising methods to fit with the future.

There will also be contributions from Adam Pinder, Head of Fundraising at the John Muir Trust, and fundraising expert Richard Radcliffe who has almost 30 years’ experience specialising in legacy fundraising. The full programme of speakers for the day will represent a range of Scottish heritage organisations and communities, spanning from the Shetland Isles to the Borders and from Aberdeenshire to Dumfries and Galloway. More than 150 participants from across the Scottish heritage sector are expected to attend the event.

The conference will also mark the conclusion of a four-year training programme for people working and volunteering in the Scottish heritage sector entitled “Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage”. Led by independent charity Arts & Business Scotland with Archaeology Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland, greenspace Scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland, this programme has successfully delivered fundraising training and advice to 804 individuals from more than 519 heritage organisations throughout Scotland since being set up in 2014.

“Inspiring Fundraising” takes place at a time when the number of visitors to Scotland’s historic sites has reached record levels, with a 20% increase in footfall reported during the spring and summer of 2017 compared to the same period in 2016. Meanwhile, the most recent Scotland Visitor Survey identifies Scotland’s landscape and scenery and the
country’s history and culture as the main motivation for visiting Scotland for more than 80% of all tourists. Official data also shows a steady rise in the proportion of people living in Scotland having visited a historic or archaeological site, reaching more than a third of the Scottish population last year.

Commenting on the conference, Carl Watt, Head of Programmes at Arts & Business Scotland, said:“Scotland’s heritage sector is hugely diverse, encompassing everything from historic and archaeological sites through to museums and cultural heritage exhibitions to environmental sites that showcase Scotland’s rich natural heritage. It’s a sector that is also hugely important to the Scottish economy, generating billions in revenue and supporting thousands of jobs.

“Arts & Business Scotland has been very proud to be able to support such an important sector over the past four years with the Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage training programme. This has successfully delivered practical information and
advice about fundraising to a wide range of heritage organisations throughout Scotland. As the programme draws to a close, we wanted to celebrate that success with a special conference.

“Our intention is to create a legacy of knowledge and learning resources that the sector can continue to draw on in the years ahead. As the Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage programme draws to a close, Arts & Business Scotland remains committed to providing ongoing support to heritage organisations across Scotland by offering a range of networking opportunities and training covering everything from fundraising to governance. In so doing, we want to ensure that Scotland’s world class heritage sector is suitably equipped to take full advantage of future opportunities for development and growth.”

The conference has been created to encourage engagement from all size of heritage organisations across Scotland. With great networking opportunities throughout the day, the delegate rate is £60 per person with a reduced rate of £100 for two individuals attending from the same organisation. Travel bursaries are also available for
those travelling outwith the central belt.

Full details of “Inspiring Fundraising: A National Heritage Conference”, including an online booking form,
are available at: http://www.resourcingscotlandsheritage.org/conference2018/