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Funding Boost for Scotland's Heritage

26 May 2009

Heritage projects ranging from the landmark Pearce Institute in Govan; one of Scotland’s finest Greek Revival house and an Oil Storage Tank in Orkney used as a visitor centre are to benefit from grants announced by Culture Minister Michael Russell today (Tuesday).

Six buildings will share more than £790,000 from Historic Scotland’s Building Repairs Grants.

The Minister said: “In the current economic climate it is essential that we support projects that will make a real and visible difference to their communities and Scotland as a whole.

“It is important that when we invest money in our heritage we recognise the wealth of variety across Scotland. The buildings in this round are a wonderful example of the various building styles which will provide training opportunities in a number of traditional skills. “

The projects supported in this round of Building Repair Grants are:

Oil Storage Tank, Scapa Flow Visitor Centre, Orkney
Recipient: Orkney Islands Council

The Scapa Flow Visitor Centre is a three star museum telling the story of Orkney’s role in the Second World War. The tank itself is a popular part of the centre housing exhibits and archives. As it is a metal structure it has been eroded by the elements and the repairs will provide training opportunities in welding, sheet metal and blacksmith work, scaffolding and industrial painting.

Former Servants’ Hall, Melsetter, Orkney
Recipient: Mr & Mrs Groat

The Hall is a mid 18th century barn, probably used for threshing, set within the Melsetter estate, which was extensively remodelled by WR Lethaby as an exemplar of an Arts and Craft estate. Only this hall remains unaltered. It is an important vernacular building for the North of Scotland. The repair is a small scale project that will keep the building wind and watertight and will use local vernacular traditional skills and materials. It is category B-listed

Glenfinnan Station
Recipient: Glenfinnan Station Museum Trust

This picturesque station and signal box are part of the West highland Line, considered by some to be one of the most scenic routes in the world. Opened in 1901, Glenfinnan Station is in the Swiss chalet style and is an important reminder of the importance of tourism to the Highlands. The work to the category B building and signal box will provide access to visitors to the Station Museum. The signal box will become an audio visual studio and research facility. It will provide training opportunities in traditional slaterwork and reuse locally quarried West Highland slate.

The Pearce Institute, 840-860 Govan Road, Govan
Recipient: The Pearce Institute  

The Pearce Insititute was designed in 1892 and built 1902-6 by Sir Rowand Anderson – one of Scotland’s most celebrated 19th century architects. The Pearce Institute is the largest and best example of Anderson’s work in the Scots Renaissance style which he pioneered. As well as its architectural importance, the Pearce Institute has played a significant role in the social history of Govan for the last century. It was intended to be used by the working men and women of the area and provided numerous facilities for clubs, reading rooms, a cafe and theatre. It is at the heart of the Govan Townscape Heritage Initiative and continues to serve its community.

Barony Chambers, Kirkintilloch
Recipient: East Dumbartonshire Council

Kirkintilloch Steeple was designed in 1811 by Andrew Galloway, a local builder, and built in 1813-1814. While Kirkintilloch Steeple shares traits with other 19th century tollbooths, its forestair marks it out as unusual. At the time the steeple was built, forestairs had been largely abandoned in favour of ground floor entrances. The steeple contains a court house, council chamber, prison cells and a parish school on the top floor. This project will carry out essential repairs and will improve the appearance of this landmark building.

Camperdown House, Dundee
Recipient: Dundee City Council

Camperdown House is widely considered as being among, if not the, finest of Scotland’s Greek Revival houses. Erosion of the roof and guttering has led to water damage of this A-listed building. It was designed by William Burn in 1821 and constructed in 1824-8. Burn established a national reputation as a country house architect. The house was built for the son of Admiral Duncan who won a famous victory at the Battle of Camperdown in the Napoleonic War. Without repair, the water damage would pose a threat to both the external and internal fabric of the building. Conserving it will see it continue as a central feature of the Country Park and will provide experience for local apprentices.

Historic Scotland has invested more than £150 million in protecting the nation’s architectural heritage in the last 15 years.

Notes for editors

  • A total of £790,406 was issued in this round of Building Repair Grants.

  • For news releases on individual projects please contact Lesley Brown on 0131 668 8603.

  • The criteria used for assessing grant applications include the social, educational and economic benefit the project would bring to the community and the urgency of the repairs.

  • These grant offers are conditional on the necessary permissions being granted and all agreed delivery conditions being met.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations

For further information

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