People in Angus urged to become part of new project launched to celebrate Scotland’s diverse urban landscape

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Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP), a five-year nationwide project that will put history in the hands of local communities, wants to hear from groups and individuals in Angus and Dundee.

The project is calling for groups and individuals of all ages to discover and share the fascinating stories of Scotland’s towns and cities through community-led projects. A dedicated team from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) and Historic Scotland will provide 1500 people with hands-on training in historical research, using archives and how to record Scotland’s ever evolving built environment through drawing and photography.

SUP will culminate in a national exhibition in 2019, showcasing the achievements of 60 community-led projects and celebrating Scotland’s towns and cities.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland’s urban areas are full of incredible stories to be recorded and celebrated.

“Scotland’s Urban Past will give people of all ages the tools and inspiration they need to start recording and sharing the history of their local area. From buildings and streets to the story of an entire city, it will create a detailed and accessible history of our urban heritage by the people who live within it, which will be an incredibly rich asset for all of us.

“Taking place over the next five years, it will be a flagship project for the new lead body for the historic environment, Historic Environment Scotland (HES), which will come into effect in October with the coming together of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS. I’d urge communities across the country to get involved and be part of telling their own and Scotland’s wider urban story.”

Jane Ryder, Chair of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “This exciting new project will give communities across Scotland the opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Scotland’s urban landscapes and take part in investigating the history on their doorstep.

“One of the key priorities for the new organisation will be working in partnership with communities across Scotland to record, promote and celebrate Scotland’s diverse historic environment, so it’s fitting that one of our first nationwide projects will span our towns and cities to give people a collective platform to share their stories.”

SUP is supported by a £1.65m Heritage Lottery Fund grant and will help communities in bringing their project ideas to fruition by providing training, access to resources and on-going support.

Colin McLean, Head of HLF Scotland, said: “People are at the very heart of everything we do and thanks to National Lottery players we can inspire communities across Scotland to dig into their past and find out more about the places they call home. The ambitious £1.65m five year nationwide project will offer people of all ages and backgrounds training and skills in recording memories and reveal just how the Scottish urban landscapes have changed over time. If today’s fantastic skateboarding launch is anything to go by we have much to look forward to as this exciting project starts to take shape.”

SUP builds on the success of Scotland’s Rural Past, a community archaeology project that trained hundreds of volunteers across Scotland in recording historic rural settlements.

Rebecca Bailey, Head of Education and Outreach at RCAHMS, said: “This project will add thousands of new contributions to the record and enhance our national resource celebrating Scotland’s towns and cities.

“People across Scotland will be helping us bring our national collection to life, from local cinemas to skate parks to medieval street patterns, so it’s a great opportunity to get involved in documenting your town or city’s wider story for generations to come.”

For further information on how to get involved please visit www.scotlandsurbanpast.org.uk.