Survey seeks to understand state of Scotland’s stonemasonry sector

Stonemason student, Daryl Wallace, at Historic Environment Scotland’s new interim Skills Training Centre in partnership with Forth Valley College.

HISTORIC Environment Scotland (HES) has announced the launch of a survey of stonemasonry in Scotland in a bid to better understand the current status of the sector.

The survey aims to gather information on the number of stonemasons there are in Scotland, where the businesses that employ stonemasons are based, and the need for stonemasonry skills across the country.

HES said that it is the first in a series of surveys examining stonemasonry in Scotland and is an action arising out of the work of the Stonemasonry Training Working Group of sector partners and stakeholders, convened by HES.

The data gathered will be used as a first step to building understanding of how the stonemasonry sector looks across different parts of Scotland, and ensuring it is equipped to meet the challenges of the future. The aim is to create a stonemasonry-specific dataset that will enable better sector engagement and consultation, as ideas and proposals on the future of stonemasonry training are developed.

HES supports the delivery of stonemasonry skills training at its Skills Training Centres in Elgin and Stirling, in partnership with Forth Valley College.

Colin Tennant, head of technical education and training at HES, said, “With our built environment in Scotland predominantly made of stone, it is crucial we ensure a continuing supply of trained stonemasons to repair, maintain and conserve this heritage. Stonemasonry is also a sustainable traditional skill which supports both green jobs and a circular economy which helps maximise our existing resources, crucial for our national net-zero ambitions.

“We want to ensure the sector can thrive into the future, which is why we’re launching this survey to gather information which will help us build a comprehensive picture of stonemasonry in Scotland. To help us to that, we would urge as many stonemasons and employers as possible will take part in the survey.”

The survey will be open until February 28 and can be accessed on the HES website.