Dundee Historic Environment Trust (DHET) was established in 2004. It is an independent charitable organisation run on a not for profit basis and was set up to promote and encourage the conservation, protection and improvement of Dundee’s historic environment. It does this by providing grant assistance towards the repair of buildings and townscape features, and through arranging activities, often in partnership with other organisations.
The Trust’s activities are focussed on the historic environment located within the Dundee City Council boundary. Dundee’s historic environment includes areas with official designations: conservation areas, designed landscapes, scheduled monuments, areas of archaeological significance and listed buildings. It also includes historic district centres without conservation area status, such as Stobswell, Hilltown and the historic docks area. Also parks and gardens, cemeteries / burial grounds and open spaces, historic street surfaces and footways, historic industrial complexes, historic transportation buidings and routes, bridges and structures and 18th, 19th and 20th century suburbs.
DHET administers grants on behalf of the Scottish Government with funding made available by Historic Environment Scotland (HES). DHET also receives support in-kind from Dundee City Council. Grants are awarded at the discretion of DHET’s Board of Trustees.
The Trust’s vision for the City’s historic environment is to enable it to be better and more widely understood, well maintained and kept in good condition, well used and enjoyed, for it to contribute to modern day activity by all sectors of the community (residents, workers, students, tourists, etc), for it to be a catalyst for environmental, cultural, economic and social change for the better, and for it to provide a framework for incorporating exemplary modern design.
DHET strategic objectives are based on the following aims:
• To enhance the quality, appearance and condition of Dundee’s built historic environment.
• To support the promotion of Dundee’s historic built environment as an attractive place to live, work, visit and invest in.
• To bring disused/underused buildings back into economic use, either as business premises or as affordable accommodation.
• To promote timely repairs and encourage continuing maintenance.
• To encourage the use and improved availability of traditional craft- based building skills and appropriate traditional and/or energy efficient materials.
• To stimulate the understanding and appreciation of the historic built environment.
Since 2004 DHET has awarded grants totalling over £2m towards building or streetscape repairs and projects that provide opportunities to learn about and enjoy Dundee’s historic environment. Building projects have ranged from comprehensive repair works securing the future of empty buildings to the repair of individual critical elements such as chimneys and rainwater goods using appropriate traditional materials and standards. Outreach grants have been awarded towards feasibility studies, conservation plans and streetscape features of community value.
DHET is managed by a full time Director who is seconded from Dundee City Council. Adam Swan was formerly the Council Conservation Officer and has managed the Trust since its inception in 2004. The Trust occasionally also employs consultants to support the organisation in meeting its objectives.
DHET is governed by a Board of Trustees and comprised of up to 12 Elected Trustees, including 1 Council Nominee. There are currently 11 Trustees who contribute their time, skills and expertise to the Trust on a voluntary basis.
Our new office is in the Waterfront area of Dundee centre, at 29 Exchange Street, DD 1 3DJ. This was historically the maritime quarter, and is situated between the commercial & civic areas and the new developments in the historic and infilled dock areas.
The office is in a listed building dating to the 1830s and it retains features and character; its early shopfront is a rare survivor.
The office is also used for formal and informal meetings. When open and available we welcome drop-in callers. We are happy to discuss potential grant projects and may also be able to provide guidance and information for projects not progressing grant applications. We aim to be accessible, wheelchair access is possible by use of a removable ramp and platform.
We stock a wide range of leaflets which provide technical guidance for historic building repair and maintenance. We also have information and leaflets about local heritage, including the series of Dundee Heritage Walking guides.
The office relocated here during the pandemic, but is still temporarily closed. It is intended that it re-opens soon.