Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about Scotland’s Urban Past (SUP).


What’s this all about?
Scotland’s Urban Past is a five-year, nationwide project about the history of Scotland’s towns and cities. Anyone can get involved and start investigating their urban environment and how this has changed over time. Scotland’s Urban Past is led by Historic Environment Scotlandsupported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Why should I get involved?
If you are interested in exploring, sharing and celebrating what makes your urban environment unique and important to you, take part in Scotland’s Urban Past. Scotland’s Urban Past supports all kinds of projects that help you engage with the heritage of your towns and cities. For more information, take a look at our projects.
Do you give grants?
While we are unable to offer grants, we can help projects grow into full community-led projects by offering groups access to events, exhibitions and training opportunitiesessential resources and continued project support.

Community-led projects

What is a community-led project?

This means the project is led by participants in the community. Community-based groups that we work with can include:

  • housing associations
  • adult learning groups
  • health projects
  • green and environmental initiatives
  • history groups
  • intergenerational projects
  • voluntary organisations
  • art, sport or leisure societies

...and many more.

Find out more about community-led projects.

If you are in a youth group, take a look at our opportunities for young people.

I want to take part, but I’m not part of a community group. Can I start up a group specifically to join SUP?

Yes, but we cannot provide you with support to do that.

However, it’s worth getting in touch with other community groups in your area. If there is are existing or previous projects in your local area, they may be able to help or make suggestions.

Check out our blog to join the existing SUP community.

What if I don’t have a project idea?
You might find inspiration on our website by exploring our existing projects, suggestions for your SUP idea or by contacting the team.
Will SUP take credit for our ideas?

SUP will not take credit but we will share, feature and celebrate your group’s work for all to see. You’ll be able to contribute to a national database and let everyone know about your place and your project. This might lead to new connections with other local groups or with similar projects nationwide, and even new collaborations.

I want to get involved, but I don’t have much time to offer. Is there something I could get involved with?
Yes, we have projects that are developing across Scotland’s urban areas – find out if there is one near you. You can also contribute to the national collection of buildings, archaeology and industry as an Urban Detective.
I want to get involved, but I’m not in one of Scotland’s towns or cities – can I still take part?

Yes, you can contribute as an Urban Detective by registering on our website.

You may also like to see what your nearest projects are and get in touch with them.