A piece in the Falkirk Herald last week reported on plans for the future development of the Antonine Wall:
As well as ensuring the wall, which became a World Heritage Site in 2008, is well maintained and managed, the plan also looks at how it can become a world class visitor attraction and be used as a catalyst to transform communities.
One third of the wall is in the Falkirk Council area, the largest part in any local authority.
As well as the long-term aims, there are also shorter term goals for the next five years, including improving paths, signage and interpretive panels along the route.
The full article is here. It is worth having a look at the document on which it is based; the snappily named Antonine Wall Management Plan 2013-18. It is a pdf - a fairly large one at that - from here. The photography and illustrations are stunning, and there is a good and up-to-date bibliography. The aims of the plan are to be applauded too. What does seem to be missing - and the language is fairly inpenetrable management-speak so I might have missed it - is where the money might come from.
This is more than a flip aside. Much like a child's fear of vegetables, the Scottish government's aversion to anything cultural is well-known and well-documented - see, for example, the cuts at Scottish Ballet and the emasculated 2013/14 season at Scottish Opera. The latest issue of Private Eye has more details and has been tracking this trend for a while. Fiona Hyslop, the cabinet secretary for culture, has never shown the slightest interest in the liberal arts whatsoever. Instead, the front page of her website has a picture of her holding a tray of pies.
Memories are short. Last year, the country's SNP government slashed Historic Scotland's budget from £47m to £35.7m for 2014-15. I also posted about the damaging effects of these hefty cuts to Scottish museum budgets (here and here) last year. With a quarter of the budget that remains dedicated to peddling the nationalist cant of Bannockburn and the rest devoted (presumably) to just keeping on the lights, it is hard to see from where any cash for the Romans could come.