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Funding boost for Airdrie Library

26 January 2007

Airdrie Library has been given a funding boost of £59,000 from Historic Scotland for repairs to the observatory dome.

The C(s)-listed neo-classical building is one of 11 projects awarded money in the latest round of the agency’s Historic Environment Grants programme.

Patricia Ferguson MSP, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport said: “Airdrie Library and the other buildings receiving grants are a crucial reminder of the skills and culture of the Scottish people.

“The popularity of programmes like Restoration clearly show that people not only value historic buildings, but are willing to get involved in their preservation.

“Historic Scotland grants, and the matched funding they often attract, ensure that communities can continue to get the most from their important buildings and that outstanding design is preserved across the country.”

Councillor Jim Logue, Convener of North Lanarkshire Council’s Community Services Committee and local elected member for Airdrie Central, said: “This is a terrific boost for local heritage in the Airdrie area. Airdrie Observatory is one of only four public observatories operating in the United Kingdom and it is an important facility of significant and scientific interest.

“The repairs to the observatory dome will make a considerable difference to the visitor experience and I would like to personally thank Historic Scotland for this significant funding boost.”

Airdrie was one of the first town’s in Scotland to adopt the Free Public Libraries Act in 1856 and records show that the library was situated at two other locations until this purpose-built venue was completed in 1925.

The building, designed by J M Arthur, contains a small observatory that is still in use and this funding will help to restore the dome to its original specification.

More than £150 million has been distributed in the last 15 years to secure the future of the historic environment throughout Scotland.

The funding not only helps to conserve the country’s rich built heritage but also benefit its economy by generating work in the construction industry, supporting business and tourism.

Notes to Editors:

Photographs of the Culture Minister Patricia Ferguson touring the observatory on Monday January 29, 2007, are available. Please call the number below for details.

A total of £1,330,962 was awarded in the latest round of Historic Scotland grants.

Airdrie Library has been awarded £59,857.

Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Executive charged with safeguarding the nation’s built heritage.  It is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

Scotland has around 47,000 listed buildings, all of which are considered to have special architectural or historic importance and interest.  This rich built heritage comprises a wide range of properties - urban, rural, industrial, public and residential. They are an integral part of Scottish culture and provide a unique record of the nation’s economic and social history.  In listing buildings, Historic Scotland helps ensure that this important national asset is not damaged or diminished and can be used and enjoyed both today and for generations to come.

Contact: Denise Robertson, North Lanarkshire Council
Direct line: 01698 302306
Mobile:07742 121240
Issued:January 26, 2007

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873