About Us

The Scottish Civic Trust was set up in 1967, to help people connect to their built heritage and take a leading role in guiding its development. In its infancy, it successfully campaigned for the restoration of Edinburgh’s New Town and can also claim credit for saving New Lanark and bringing Doors Open Days to the United Kingdom.

Through supporting amenity groups, the Trust’s original objectives were:

  • Well-informed public concern for the environment of town and country
  • High quality in planning and in new architecture
  • The conservation and, where necessary, adaptation for re-use of older buildings of distinction or historic interest
  • Knowledgeable and therefore effective comment in planning matters
  • The elimination of ugliness, whether resulting from social deprivation, bad design or neglect

Broadly speaking, we are still working towards the same objectives today.

We have a small staff compliment that works hard to achieve our objectives, working under the guidance of our Board. Everything we do centres around the following core values:

  • We are robust and independent in advocating for Scotland’s places and spaces
  • We are positive about the future of the built environment
  • We lead thinking on Scotland’s civic spaces
  • We collaborate across the heritage sector and beyond to develop ideas that tackle exclusion
  • We support community groups looking after their locality

We are proud to represent Scotland’s civic sector and strive to ensure our amenity groups are active, empowered, and educated to make a difference in their locality.

We are fortunate to own our own eighteenth century townhouse in Glasgow, where we have maintained our offices since 1995. To celebrate 25 years of calling Tobacco Merchant’s House home, the Trust launched its “Written in Stone” campaign on 12th October 2020. The campaign seeks to establish a capital fund to cover the cost of future major repair works and ensure the preservation of this historic gem and the many stories held within its walls. We invite all with a passion for Scotland’s buildings and civic movement to contribute to the Written in Stone campaign by leaving a gift in their Will to protect the Tobacco Merchant’s House for future generations.

You can find our 2019-2020 annual report here, and 2019-2024 Strategic Plan here. If you’d like a hard copy of either, drop us a line at sct@scottishcivictrust.org.uk or give us a call at 0141 221 1466.

Our Vision

Thriving, beautiful and well cared for places and buildings, which help to support and sustain a high quality of life.

Our Mission

To celebrate Scotland’s built environment, take action for its improvement and empower its communities.


What We Do

Our mission is celebrate Scotland’s built environment, take action for its improvement and empower its communities.

We aim to achieve this through three main strands of activity: Celebrate, Take Action and Advocate.

To celebrate Scotland’s built environment, we:

  • Coordinate Doors Open Days, which celebrates our shared built and cultural heritage by enabling access to places, spaces, and activities not usually open to the public.
  • Organise the My Place Awards, which recognise the impact of regeneration projects on local communities.
  • Run the My Place Photography Competition, which celebrates the involvement of young people in the built environment.
  • Maintain the Tobacco Merchant’s House as an example of sustainable best practice
  • Run annual celebration and networking events for local groups engaging with heritage

To take action with community groups and enable them to get involved with their local heritage, we:

To advocate for and support community voices within the heritage and planning sectors, we:

You can find out more about what we do by looking around our website and checking out our News section. And make sure to be the first to hear about our new and exciting projects by keeping a close eye on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.


Who we Are

Structure and Management

We have Trustees who are appointed for two three-year terms, with further eligibility depending on the discretion of other Trustees. The policy of the Trust is to achieve a wide range of relevant experience within the Trustee body. Appointments are reviewed every three years. You can read more about our trustees here.

The practical work of the Trust is supported and enhanced by the following sub-committees:

  • Strategy and Communications Committee
  • Fundraising Committee
  • Finance and Audit Committee
  • Technical Committee
  • Trustee Recruitment Committee

Our Staff

The work of the Scottish Civic Trust is carried out by a team of eight people, working out of our offices in the Tobacco Merchant’s House in Glasgow. Learn more about them here.