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Scottish Historic Buildings Trust appoints new Director

By March 20, 2024April 4th, 2024No Comments
A photo of a man with a beard, in a navy blue suit leaning against a wall.

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, the charity dedicated to regenerating significant historic buildings across Scotland, has appointed Dr Samuel Gallacher as Director.

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust plays a unique role in preserving and promoting the nation’s heritage and in its 40-year history has so far restored over 30 buildings and raised more than £30 million. SHBT’s wide portfolio of restored buildings include Riddle’s Court in Edinburgh, Liberton Bank House in Edinburgh, Strathleven House in Dunbartonshire, Law’s Close in Kirkcaldy, and most recently, Port House in Jedburgh.

Sam joins the Trust from his role as Keeper of The Burrell Collection in Glasgow, the category A-listed modernist museum building and home to the world-famous collection of fine and decorative arts amassed by shipping merchant Sir William Burrell which was named Art Fund Museum of the Year in 2023 following a major refurbishment project. Formerly Assistant Director of the Medici Archive Project in Florence, Italy, more recently he worked for the National Trust for Scotland in Glasgow, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders managing a broad range of historic buildings, capital projects, natural and designed landscapes, and art collections.

Passionate about Scotland’s architectural heritage, he has written and lectured on the subject, as well as consulted for Glasgow City Heritage Trust on buildings at risk, is a trustee of the Provan Hall Community Management Trust in Easterhouse and is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He has recently been appointed a judge for the European Art Museum of the Year awards, with a special interest in the use and refurbishment of historic buildings as museums.

Maggie Wright, chair of Scottish Historic Buildings Trust, said “We are delighted to welcome Sam to the Trust and look forward to working with him to bring buildings in decline back to life for the benefit of communities across Scotland. Under his leadership, our very talented team will continue work on our current projects at the Tron on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile and at Leith Custom House which we are operating as an arts hub while we develop restoration plans. This is an exciting appointment for the Trust that will shape the next phase of our development as a key player in Scotland’s heritage community.”

Sam Gallacher said “Scotland should be rightly proud of its incredible collection of built heritage ranging across our towns and cities, our countryside and coastlines. These historic buildings are a tangible connection to our past, but I believe they also have an important role to play in our future. As we seek ways to foster civic identity, community access to the arts and heritage, more sustainable building practices, regenerated high streets, and dare I say it, nourish more broadly an appreciation of why beautiful historic architecture matters still today, I am excited at the potential of Scottish Historic Buildings Trust to make a lasting contribution across the country. Building on the Trust’s outstanding track record for delivering significant restoration projects, its championing of the ever-relevant ideas of Patrick Geddes and sharing widely its knowledge and expertise amounts to a huge responsibility, but one which I am honoured to take on as Director.”

He takes over the role from Una Richards who stepped down as Chief Executive in 2023.

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