Heritage is not just buildings
The elegant setting of Glasgow University's Bute Hall couldn't have been a more apt setting for the first Built and Historic Environment Summit in Glasgow.
Over a hundred representatives from the key heritage bodies were gathered for a brainstorming session, attended, and at one stage, chaired by culture minister Mike Russell.
With just a few hours to fit it all in, delegates had to keep it brief but several points were made loud and clear:
Heritage is not just buildings. It's archaeology, landscape and collections.
It doesn't matter if it's listed, if it's important to your community, it's important.
Too many people chasing too little money so communities have to start taking ownership of their heritage or accept it may be lost.
History needs to be taken to street level. Not just about cathedrals and castles, it's about people's homes and streets and the spaces between them.
Community involvement got a thumbs-up from the culture minister Mike Russell, not least because of the squeeze on government funding at local and national levels.
His question - to the assembled movers and shakers was how to persuade communities to take responsibility.
All well and good if it's an A-listed cathedral but what if it's a less likeable modern ruin.
Does the community in Cardross feel as strongly about St Peter's seminary as the people of St Andrews feel about their crumbling cathedral? I suspect not.
There's no way of controlling what old - and new buildings end up on your doorstep and, as several delegates pointed out, it's not just about buildings.
Can you rouse the same level of community support for an archaelogical find or a sprawling museum collection?
One issue raised by several delegates - including architect Malcolm Fraser - is the issue of VAT which, according to many people, is hampering attempts to restore and repair old buildings.
It's an issue that the newly arrived chief executive of Historic Scotland, Ruth Parsons is well qualified to discuss at length. Among her previous roles before taking up the post, she was a VAT inspector for the Inland Revenue.