After months of preparation and anticipation, June finally arrived and with it our celebrations for the 400th anniversary of the General Register of Sasines, the oldest national property register in the world.
I feel privileged to be leading RoS through this important stage of its history and enjoyed welcoming friends, colleagues and former staff (including three of my predecessors as keeper) to Meadowbank House on Wednesday 28 June. From the unveiling of our commemorative artwork, the reading of a specially commissioned poem written by Jackie Kay, Scotland’s Makar, and the presentation of a cheque for over £4,000 to Macmillan Cancer Support, raised at our recent Fore!Hundred charity golf tournament, it was a special and memorable day for everyone at RoS, and a fitting ceremony to mark the official 400 year anniversary.
It was an equally memorable day on Thursday 29 June, as we welcomed Keith Brown MSP, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work, for the official opening of our new Glasgow office at St Vincent Plaza. The whole week’s events were a great success, celebrating the important role that RoS and land registration have played in Scotland over the centuries.
June wasn’t only about commemorating the past – we took a major step towards our digital future with our first Alpha Day event for ScotLIS, our upcoming land and property informations service. Hosted at our SVP office, Alpha Day was a collaborative workshop that allowed our ScotLIS team to meet with RoS customers to share ideas and knowledge, and also showcase and user-test the first iterations of the new service. It was an exciting opportunity to trial a service that will be a cornerstone of RoS, our digital future and the Scottish property market for many years to come. You can find out more in our recent blog, including a video highlighting the events of the day.
Another milestone this month was the release of one of our flagship data publications, the 10-Year Property Market Report. Now in its fifth year, the report provides a wealth of information, and details trends and developments in the land and property market between the years 2007 and 2017. It’s an incredibly valuable resource for important stakeholders and the general public alike, and epitomises the valuable role we play in supporting the property market and economy in Scotland. More information on the report can be found on our website. We also released our regular monthly House Price Index report, with one of the highlights of this edition showing that average house prices increased by nearly seven per cent compared with April 2016.
It was also an important month for public engagement, with our event space at the Royal Highland Show (RHS) proving a success for yet another year. A number of RoS staff were on hand to meet with the public and provide their insight and expertise on issues like voluntary registration and the land register. As part of the event, we also finalised the transfer of the RHS grounds at Ingliston from the sasine register to the land register. To find out more, check out our RHS blog.
And finally, we achieved further success on the awards front this month, with Tom Meade winning the Digital Leader award at this year’s Holyrood Connect Awards. Tom fought off strong competition from a number of Scotland’s other digital gurus, and was recognised for the pivotal role he has played in spearheading our digital transformation. Many congratulations to Tom, and I’m enthusiastic to see where our digital transformation leads RoS with fantastic individuals like Tom, his team and the rest of my talented colleagues at RoS on-board.