New Centres will help young Scots develop skills


Scotland’s first National Conservation Centre for training young people in traditional building skills is to be established in Stirling, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop has announced.

The SNP Government’s new Young Scots Fund will contribute towards a £3 million National Conservation Centre based at two locations in Stirling, in a partnership between Historic Scotland, Stirling Council and Forth Valley College.

In addition, £5 million is to be allocated from the Young Scots Fund for a new National Centre for Youth Arts in Glasgow that will provide accessible rehearsal and production facilities for companies including the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, the National Youth Choirs and Y Dance, the youth dance agency.

Ms Hyslop said:

“Scotland is a creative nation, and we want our young people to be the best they can be. Developing and nurturing their skills and creativity is crucial for the country’s economic future.  To allow our young people to realise their potential, it is vital that we celebrate our emerging youth talent and provide opportunities for it to flourish.

“That is what our Young Scots Fund will do. Over the next four years, it will provide £50 million of support focused on developing the potential of our youngsters in sport, enterprise and creativity.

“The new National Centre for Youth Arts will be a fantastic resource for young creative talent, while our investment in the National Conservation Centre will help sustain and develop the traditional building skills needed to secure the future of Scotland’s historic environment.  It is also part of our strategy to halt the loss of such skills and expertise.

“Together, Scotland’s creative industries and heritage sectors contribute £7.5 billion to the economy each year and support more than 100,000 jobs. Investing in the skills and creativity of Scotland’s young people is clearly essential for sustainable economic growth.”

The National Conservation Centre will be based in the Forthside area of Stirling from 2014, in a former railway engine shed, focusing on reviving scarce technical skills and promoting best practice in conservation. In addition, a brand new stone masonry training facility will be created at the new Kildean campus of Forth Valley College, opening in August 2012.

Humza Yousaf MSP for Glasgow was delighted with the investment and said that Scotland’s biggest city would embrace National Centre for Youth Arts which will be in Glasgow.

He said: “Glasgow has always been a hotbed of cultural and creative talent, so this bold and ambitious move by the SNP Government to invest and nurture that talent can only be of benefit in the future.

“Everyone in Glasgow – and indeed across Scotland – can look forward to the musical and creative talents from their neighbourhoods and communities being on the world stage for generations to come.”


The new Young Scots Fund will see £50 million invested over the next four years in emerging young talent – in creativity, sport and enterprise. 

The National Conservation Centre training facility at Forth Valley College will allow Historic Scotland to develop world class training, based on its leading UK facility at Elgin, as well as offering support to other colleges.

It will also help to promote traditional building skills as one of its key priorities, and encourage a wider public appreciation of the role of those skills in contributing to a vibrant and sustainable future for Scotland’s construction industry. 

The total cost of the National Conservation Centre is expected to be in the region of £3 million; the Young Scots Fund will provide a contribution towards this.

Forth Valley College is undertaking an ambitious estates strategy with plans to develop and upgrade across all its campuses including two new campuses in Alloa and Stirling.  The Stirling Campus is set to open in April 2012 and will offer state-of-the-art facilities in modern, dynamic learning environments and will increase the education and training opportunities available to thousands of learners in the Forth Valley area and beyond.