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Merger of Historic Scotland and RCAHMS?
#1
I've heard a rumour that following the Scottish election, the possibility of merging Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission is back on the table. This was something that was suggested as part of the SNP manifesto in advance of the 2007 elections as part of the so-called 'Bonfire of the Quangos', then seemed to have been dropped, but may now be under discussion again. I was firstly wondering whether anyone had any concrete information, and for those of you working in England, what your experiences had been of the EH / RCAHME merger?

(I take it as read that certain contributors may want to comment to the effect that both bodies are nothing more than pension-grabbers, lounging about at the tax-payers expense in their posh Edinburgh offices, so please feel free not to bother posting to that effect - I'm really only looking for comments that address whether this is something that may eventually happen, and if so, whether the experience in England suggests that it has any benefits from a purely archaeological and non-financial perspective.)
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#2
I don't now how true this is but I was told that the royal commissions funding is different then that of HS. If I remember correctly it was outside of the devoled funds and came from the overall UK fund.

A merger would mean that the SNP would have to put more funds aside and give up the the free extra funds from down south. Not very likely until the referendum and depending on how that turns out.

Don't quote me on that as that is just what I was told and I have no idea how accurate that is.
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#3
From their website: RCAHMS is an executive non-departmental government body financed by the Scottish Parliament through the Architecture and Place Division, part of the Directorate for the Built Environment of the Scottish Government. RCAHMS, as a public Scottish National Collection, has charitable status (Scottish Charity No. SC026749). RCAHMS is funded by the Scottish Government with an annual budget of over ?4.3 million (in 2009)

I'm not entirely certain of the details, but my understanding was that in practise, the bulk of the Commission's funding came from the Scottish Government via Historic Scotland. Essentially, the Government gives money to HS, who pass some of it on to RCAHMS.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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#4
My understanding is the same as Marcus'; I'm not aware of any pot of UK government money that funds RCAHMS; its money comes from the Scottish Office, and from the income that it generates.
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#5
Hi there,

I've got some good friends at RCAHMS at a junior level, and haven't heard any recent rumours about merging with HS. It was definitely something they were worried about when the SNP first came to power back in 2007, but I haven't heard much since.
?He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself?
Chinese Proverb
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#6
Coincidently I overheard two people chatting in a coffee shop last week:
"if there is a merger will you get all the commissions collections?"
"I assume so"

Now I wouldn't read much into this, as it may well be someone discussing what they read on here...
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#7
From the IHBC News Blog Archive:

Quote:Historic Scotland: Option appraising RCAHMS
Scottish Ministers have commissioned an options appraisal, through the heritage agency Historic Scotland (HS), on the future of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).

Read the full article here

So Historic Scotland have been given the job of deciding how RCAHMS core functions are to be delivered - what's the betting that the recommendation is that the Commission should be absorbed into Historic Scotland? If I worked for the Commission, I'd be pretty worried about that, as I know there's been no love lost between the two of organisations over the last 20 years.
You know Marcus. He once got lost in his own museum
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