A potted History of ACASLA – 1975 to 2003

Association of Chief Architects of Scottish Local Authorities (ACASLA) was established in 1975, to represent senior architects in Scottish Local Authorities following the reorganisation of Scottish Local Government to form 64 Local Authorities, many with their own Architectural Services Departments.

It had the objectives of:

  • Providing a forum for the discussion, collection & dissemination of architectural, environmental & allied matters affecting local government.
  • Providing a means whereby the knowledge & experience of members can be made available to colleagues, their Authorities, central government & other organisations.
  • Promoting discussion on professional, administrative, technical & other matters of concern to its members and to afford help and advice.

Such a network was considered vital to the successful flow of information, knowledge & experience affecting the practice of architecture in local authorities.  It was also an important link to central government, CoSLA (voice of Local Government in Scotland) & other professional organisations.

Further Local Government reorganisation, reducing the number of authorities to 32, resulted in ACASLA going through a reformation in 1996. Many chief officers & senior staff left the service & architectural staff numbers were greatly reduced within the new authorities, placing additional workload on those who remained.  The Association has faced these challenges and has adapted to the new situation.  Whilst retaining its National dimension, so important in dealings with CoSLA & the Scottish Executive, the association structure was altered to provide for three area groups covering the North, East & West of the country.  This recognised the individual character of the regions, focusing on the importance of local issues within the respective areas.

The aftermath of Local Government reorganisation in 1996 had a profound effect on the morale of architects in the public sector.  Throughout that period local authority architects continued to produce high quality designs & solutions, making our communities better places for people to live and work.

Following that restructuring ACASLA started to forge closer links with its sister organisation in England and Wales, SCALA.  This developed through the late 1990’s into the early 2000’s.  ACASLA started regularly contributing to the SCALA magazine in 2001 and on the 7th March 2003 an amalgamation between the two organisations was approved by the ACASLA AGM.

Our thanks go to Leslie Morrison, former President of SCALA and ACASLA for writing this piece.