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History Of The Trust

The Scottish Civic Trust was established in 1967 as a response to the destruction of the innumerable historic buildings and areas of townscape that had evolved over the centuries, and to the loss of the communities that valued these places. Certainly there were problems, but the solutions could be very drastic indeed. It was also a response to the need for a coordinator of action for individuals and groups across Scotland; a focus for debate and criticism.

The initial focus had been the establishment of local civic societies up and down the country. Some had already existed, like The Cockburn Association in Edinburgh which was established in 1875. Today, there are over 100 groups registered with the Trust, spanning the length and breadth of Scotland. However, upon opening the doors, its services were required to assist others in better local environments, or preventing them from being unnecessarily compromised. Today, the Trust is recognised in government guidance and policy as an expert in this field.

In 1990, the Trust encouraged the organisers of Glasgow's City of Culture event to try out an idea from France, namely the opening up of buildings not usually open to the public for free. The result was the enormously popular Doors Open Days in Scotland, which the Trust continues to coordinate nationally as part of the Council of Europe's European Heritage Days.

Today, the Trust runs an office from the Tobacco Merchant's House in Glasgow's Merchant City, which it purchased in 1997. It remains engaged with local civic groups across Scotland. It regularly comments and campaigns for the betterment of Scotland's individual buildings and areas of distinction. It advises government on policy development and formulation. It seeks to encourage active and stimulating interest in all aspects of the built and historic environment. It liaises with many, many bodies and individuals in the pursuit of its objectives. It remains an important champion of Scotland's places.