We’ve gathered resources to support local heritage groups to undertake projects, diversify and expand their membership and address the pressing issues of our time.

And remember, you can always get in touch with us at for more tailored advice and support!

Built environment projects & planning applications

Community-led Built Environment Project Case Studies (Scottish Civic Trust): Are you looking to take on a local built environment project? Get some inspiration from similar projects across Scotland by reading case studies from our My Place Awards and My Place Mentoring programme.

Planning Toolkit (Scottish Civic Trust): Are you looking to comment on a planning or Listed Building Consent application? Access our helpful toolkit!

Identifying, Developing and Delivering Historic Building Projects (Scottish Civic Trust): My Place Mentoring Officer Jamie McNamara contributed to a panel of experts to discuss funding, facilitating, mentoring and delivery of heritage projects.

New Uses for Former Church Buildings (Scottish Civic Trust): Originally from 2010, this document looking at new uses for old churches is as relevant todays as when it was first published. It provides innovative examples of the re-use of religious buildings, which will have expanded over the years.

Governance (BRICK Works Guide): This guide supports groups involved in projects aimed at regenerating their local heritage to develop strong and effective governance. If you are a part of a community group looking to start a heritage led regeneration project, this guide will help you to understand the steps required to establish your group as a legal entity, fit to deliver and manage your project.

Business Planning (BRICK Works Guide): This guide shows how to make a strong business case for your heritage regeneration project. Understanding and setting out exactly how you are going to regenerate your historic building, how much this work will cost and how the building will be used when the work is finished, is key to the success of any project.

Visioning and Options Development (BRICK Works Guide): This guide explains how to establish a united vision and explore viable new uses for a redundant historic building. Having a strong, shared vision for your project is essential for spreading the word and ensuring that everyone involved is committed to the same outcome for the building.

Tenement Maintenance Advice (Under One Roof): Useful guidance on how to work with others towards a common goal, as well as how to tackle repairs.

Publications for Development Trusts (Development Trusts Association Scotland): A list of publications either directly sponsored or of specific relevance to development trusts, often containing information that’s useful more generally for those contemplating their own regeneration projects.

Buildings At Risk Register: Find out if the building you’re interested in is a Building At Risk – it puts it in a higher category of importance for funders.

Resources for Community-owned Pubs (Plunkett Foundation): If you’re thinking of taking over a pub in Scotland, the Plunkett Foundation may be able to support you.

Communities and Local Heritage Guide (Historic Environment Scotland): Looking for advice on exploring and caring for your community’s local heritage? Not sure who to speak to? This handy pack contains useful web links directing you to a range of organisations who can help you get started.

Scotland’s Community Heritage Conversations: An online monthly event series bringing together volunteers, community groups and heritage professionals.

Place Standard Tool: The Place Standard tool provides a simple framework to structure conversations about place. It allows you to think about the physical elements of a place (for example its buildings, spaces, and transport links) as well as the social aspects (for example whether people feel they have a say in decision making).

Our Place: Our Place is a site devoted to promoting the benefits of place and place-based working. The website is intended to support the the integration of the Place Principle and collaborative place-based working across Scotland, to help develop healthy, sustainable and thriving communities.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership: Scotland’s Towns Partnership is Scotland’s national towns collective. It represents and promotes the diversity of our towns and places, and supports those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them.

Heritage Trust Network: Heritage Trust Network is the umbrella body for all community groups and heritage trusts involved with regenerating historic buildings, with over 700 members across the UK. With a free membership category for early stage groups, peer-to-peer support, events and resources, the Network helps any not-for-profit reach success.

Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Scotland: The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) believes old buildings have a future. They support the conservation of old buildings through unique training schemes, courses, advice and research.

Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS): Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) is an umbrella body for organisations working in the built environment in Scotland. Drawing on extensive expertise in a membership-led forum, BEFS informs, debates and advocates on the strategic issues, opportunities and challenges facing Scotland’s historic and contemporary built environment.

Planning Aid Scotland (PAS): PAS is an educational charity and social enterprise. They help people to shape the future of their place and community by engaging with the planning system, in an open and inclusive way.

Historic Churches Scotland: For those looking to take on a church building, this is a good first port of call.


Fundraising from Private Sources (BRICK Works Guide):This guide offers interested audiences the tools and knowledge necessary to set up and deliver a sustainable fundraising strategy, focusing on attracting funding from private sources. It has become increasingly important that community-led programmes and services have a diverse funding structure which enables them to mitigate risks and ensure success.

Inspiring Fundraising: Inspiring Fundraising is a resource that aims to help everyone in the heritage sector in Scotland raise funds for their organisation, cause or project, effectively and with greater confidence.

National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF): NLHF fund projects that connect people and communities to the national, regional and local heritage of the UK. Since 1994 they have awarded over £880m to more than 4,700 projects in Scotland.

Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) Scotland: The AHF can provide grants, subject to availability, to help with assessing the viability of a project, or to help fund development costs for historic building related regeneration projects based in Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES): Historic Environment Scotland offers grants and funding schemes to support projects that promote and protect our historic environment. View their updated grants framework, which explains their new priorities for funding.

William Grant Foundation: The William Grant Foundation aims to ensure greater opportunities for those who are disadvantaged; strengthen the local communities in which the company operates; improve Scotland’s natural and built environment; and sustain the unique culture and heritage of Scotland.

Robertson Trust: The Robertson Trust funds and supports organisations working to alleviate poverty and trauma in Scotland. They also inform, champion and inspire the third sector, sharing their knowledge and networks.

Heritage Funding Directory: Managed by The Heritage Alliance and the Architectural Heritage Fund, the Heritage Funding Directory is a free guide to financial support for anyone undertaking UK-related heritage projects.

Funding Scotland: Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) manages a free online search engine to help you find funding for your charity, community group or social enterprise.

Digital heritage & social media

Using Social Media to Promote Heritage (Scottish Civic Trust): Communications and Events Officer Erin Burke discusses how community heritage organisations can use social media to promote their activities.

Digital Heritage Skills Workshops (Scottish Civic Trust): Scottish Civic Trust’s Digital Heritage Skills workshops offer tips on how to share heritage digitally. Each session includes an overview of the technology, practical guidance, tips and tricks, and where to find free software for your project.

How to Use Social Media (Scottish Civic Trust): A helpful guide on how heritage organisations can use social media, including choosing platforms, identifying audiences, planning content, making content accessible and evaluating reach.

Empathetic Social Media During a Pandemic (Scottish Civic Trust): Communications and Events Officer Erin Burke and Digital Content Officer Laura Paton gave tips to the Scottish Heritage Social Media Group on how to meaningfully engage with audiences during a time of crisis.

Heritage Digital: The Heritage Digital project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund Digital Skills for Heritage funding stream and aims to increase the amount of free digital skills training and support available to heritage organisations.

Scottish Heritage Social Media Group: Peer-to-peer support for social media contributors within the Scottish history, heritage, archaeology and museum sectors.

Involving young people with heritage

Heritage Experiences Need to Be Created with rather than for Young People (Scottish Civic Trust): Read the key takeaways from our 2019 Spring Symposium ‘Our Past, Our Future: Young People & Heritage’, which was an opportunity to present projects and reflect on the progress made during the Year of Young People (2018).

Stone, Sea and Sky (Scottish Civic Trust): Produced for Doors Open Days 2019’s 30th anniversary celebrations, this toolkit is filled to the brim with ideas for engaging children and young people with the buildings, spaces and places around them.

Engaging Young People in Heritage (YouthLink Scotland): Since 2018, YouthLink Scotland has worked in partnership with youth groups across Scotland to ensure young people are at the forefront of citizen science and research. This resource is intended for use for anyone working with young people who would like to engage them with heritage using a youth-led research approach. 

Recommendations for Involving Young People with Heritage (Historic Environment Scotland Youth Forum): This report details the recommendations from the HistoricScot Youth Forum, with the hope to help shape opportunities for a diverse and inclusive workforce in the heritage sector and increase young people’s interest and involvement in their local heritage.

Blast from the Past: Young People Learn to Connect Heritage, Modernity and Personal Identity (Children Scotland): A recent report from Children in Scotland’s Heritage Hunters project shows how it has helped connect children and young people with the past, emphasising the significance to modern life and personal identity. But the end of project report also reveals a gap in engaging teenagers and young adults with museums and galleries.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Co-creating Heritage Projects with Marginalised People (Scottish Civic Trust): Diverse Heritage Officer Jen Novotny discusses how to identify partners to work with, how to get in touch with potential partners, how to facilitate co-planning meetings and above all how to ensure that the partnership is mutually beneficial.

How to Engage Non-traditional Audiences with Heritage (Scottish Civic Trust): Director Susan O’Connor shares her experience with making heritage events more inclusive. Delivered as part of Pollokshields Heritage’s 2021 spring lecture programme.

Race and Heritage in Scotland (Scottish Civic Trust): In response to the Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, our 2020 annual conference focussed on how the Scottish heritage sector can address racism and build an inclusive future for Scottish heritage.

Strategy to Address Racism Against People of Colour (Scottish Civic Trust): In response to the Black Lives Matter and anti-racism movements of 2020, we drafted a strategy that outlines how we will address colour-based racism.

We Are Culture (Scottish Civic Trust): We collaborated with the National Trust in England to create a toolkit to help European Heritage Days coordinators co-create, deliver and evaluate inclusive events.

Exploring LGBTQIA+ Heritage in Scotland (Scottish Civic Trust): Our Diverse Heritage Officer Jen Novotny and Diverse Heritage Officer maternity cover Nicky Imrie reflect on Scottish Civic Trust’s and Scotland’s Urban Past’s projects to identify and record the Scotland’s queer heritage and explore how individuals think about complex and competing identities.

Sharing Stories (Scottish Civic Trust): We collaborated with the National Trust in England to research levers, barriers, and enablers to participation in European Heritage days by individuals from ethnic minority backgrounds.

Organisations to Know (Make Your Mark): Partnering with local organisations that reach your target audiences is an effective way to diversify your membership and audiences. Make Your Mark has compiled a handy list of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion organisations and community groups across Scotland.

Climate crisis

Restoring Our Future: How Investing in Buildings Can Make for Fairer, Greener Places (Scottish Civic Trust): Director Susan O’Connor explores the hidden impact of local and national government decisions on marginalised people, the built history they engage with and the environment they live in.

Heritage, Equity and the Climate Crisis (Scottish Civic Trust): For COP26, we hosted a digital lecture series on the intersection of heritage, equity and the Climate Crisis. From Indigenous approaches to sustainable heritage to heritage as a social & multi-species practice, the speakers covered a range of topics.

Micro-volunteering for Heritage: the Sustainable Future of Volunteering? (Scottish Civic Trust): Director Susan O’Connor delves into what micro-volunteering is, what types of volunteer tasks it’s suited for and how to advertise micro-volunteering roles.

Climate Crisis Response (Scottish Civic Trust): To better prepare Scottish Civic Trust and our amenity groups to face the Climate Crisis, we prepared a range of sustainable policies and procedures that we will be putting into practice in the coming years.

Climate Change and Scotland’s Heritage: What You Need to Know (Dig It!): In this helpful blog post, Dig It! has answered some frequently asked questions about climate change in Scotland and how it is impacting our heritage sites.