Where are the most cultured places in Scotland?

Dundee and the Tay Bridge. Picture Ian Rutherford

Dundee and the Tay Bridge. Picture Ian Rutherford

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DATA released from the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) reveals where in Scotland is top of the class for class.

Produced in collaboration with the Heritage Lottery Fund, the new index ranks which areas enjoy the most physical heritage assets – but also measures local ‘heritage activity’.

Darker areas of the map recieved a higher heritage scoring from the Royal Society of Arts . Picture: RSA

Darker areas of the map recieved a higher heritage scoring from the Royal Society of Arts . Picture: RSA

Dundee took the number one spot, showing that the city’s motto “One City, Many Discoveries” rings true as it tops the table as the overall leader in the heritage index. The list was created by comparing the number of attractions across a variety of categories, including museums, archives and artefacts as well as parks and open spaces, and cross-referencing it with how active the local Council was in promoting and creating events at these attractions.

Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland, said: “Dundee coming top may surprise some people but is a reflection of the vibrancy of the city just now, and the efforts that the Council and others are undertaking to try and involve the city’s inhabitants with its assets. The natural beauty and world heritage assets of Orkney are obvious, but its position in second place is significantly due to the level of activity across the islands which sit as the highest in Scotland.”

The top ten list - which is adjusted to take in land area and population - is:

1. Dundee City

Dundee coming top may surprise some people but it is a reflection of the vibrancy of the city just now.

Jamie Cooke, Head of RSA Scotland

2. Orkney Islands

3. City of Edinburgh

4. Eilean Siar

5. Glasgow City

6. Stirling

7. Moray

8. West Dunbartonshire

9. Argyll and Bute

10. East Renfrewshire

This list isn’t just based on heritage buildings - Edinburgh, unsurprisingly, scores highest for built environment, but Dundee scores high in economic history and Eilean Siar for natural assets.

The list wasn’t created as a competition, Mr Cooke said:

“It’s a tool to help authorities, citizens and organisations to identify where their efforts could best be put into making use of the assets they have. Activities are probably the best way for authorities to try to improve their placing in the index – heritage takes time to build/create, but activities are easier to produce. Case in point – South Ayrshire is low down the index in terms of assets, but highest in Scotland in relation to activity relative to assets – other areas could follow that example.”

The bottom ten consisted of

23. Midlothian

24. South Ayrshire

25. East Dunbartonshire

26. Fife

27. Angus

28. South Lanarkshire

29. West Lothian

30. Aberdeenshire

31. North Lanarkshire

32. East Ayrshire

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