Friday, 14 November 2014

Are NRS buildings going up for sale?

I've been hearing over the last week that staff at the National Records of Scotland ( in Edinburgh are being advised that a meeting is apparently to be held there later this month to discuss the possibility that some of their assets, namely buildings such as New Register House and General Register House, may be put up for sale to raise money for the UK Treasury. This is apparently in line with UK Government thinking outlined in a Treasury Green Book, and its April 2013 supplementary entitled Value for money and the valuation of public sector assets, available online at

There are apparently a few options being potentially considered by the NRS - to maintain the status quo with regards to its asset holdings, to perhaps sell off some of their assets and retain others, or to sell them all off completely, and then perhaps take up residence in the future at a rented purpose built, or already existent, premises to deliver NRS services from there.

Interestingly, at an archive conference in Dundee last year I jokingly suggested to a high ranking NRS member that I would personally be happy to see the present buildings of the NRS knocked down and something more purpose built erected there instead. I have commented before that I find many of the NRS provisions antiquated and not really as fit for purpose as its equivalents in London and Belfast (see The serious response I got was that the NRS had in fact previously looked into the option of selling off its buildings, but had decided against it at that stage.

If the buildings are to be sold off and something more purpose built erected, that would actually be a great thing in my view. But if it is decided that the buildings are to be sold off and the money sent to the UK Treasury, and not reinvested in an alternative facility here, how will such new premises, if decided upon, be funded? I don't often get political on this blog, but if that is indeed the case, that sounds to me a bit like asset stripping.

Definitely one to keep an eye on...

UPDATE: Just read a tweet that says that as NRS is a Scottish Government asset, money could not go to UK Treasury. That's what I thought also - would be good to have some clarification from the NRS.

UPDATE: NRS has kindly responded - see


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