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Grant aid helps secure future of historic sites

10 October 2011

Funding in excess of £1,000,000 for six of the nation’s notable historic buildings was announced today by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP.

The sites that will benefit from Historic Scotland’s Building Repair Grants are:

  • Braemar Castle, Deeside
  • Crichton Memorial Church, Dumfries
  • Ham Girnal, Caithness
  • Hay Memorial Hall, Cornhill, Banff
  • Maybole Castle, Ayrshire
  • Old Courthouse, Campbeltown

The Cabinet Secretary said;

““This latest round of grant awards includes assistance for castles, a hospital church, a magnificent country house and a former courthouse.”  

“These grants will help secure the future of a unique mix of buildings, which represent a range of public, private and charitable interests.

“Our heritage lies at the heart of our identity, and contributes substantially to our reputation at home and abroad. In tough economic times, maintaining our historic environment ensures these valuable sites continue to help maintain skills and jobs in the traditional building trades as well as maximising their community and tourism potential.”

Braemar Castle, Deeside
Built from 1628 for the Earl of Mar as a stronghold and hunting lodge, this L-plan tower was extensively damaged by fire in 1689.
It was not repaired and reoccupied until 1748 when it was reinstated as a barracks, before returning to domestic use in the mid 19th century.
Braemar Castle, now an iconic building in the heart of Cairngorms National Park, is A-listed and of national importance.
The Trustees want to develop its potential as a tourist attraction and local education resource, and open the unused upper areas for special events and conferences.
A grant of £144,600 has been offered.

Crichton Memorial Church, Dumfries
This late 19th century Gothic styled church was designed as part of the Crichton Lunatic Asylum, and now sits at the heart of the Crichton, home to a University Campus, Business Park, with Conference centre and Hotel.
The whole complex is of national importance and demonstrates changing attitudes towards the care of the mentally ill and is now part of an award winning regeneration project.
The grant will help a programme of lead replacement, partial re-slating and stonework repairs, to keep the church wind and watertight.
The project also aims to rectify internal damage caused by water ingress from leaking gutters.
A grant of £282,270 has been offered.

Ham Girnal, Caithness
An early 18th century grain store converted into a corn mill, the grant will help stabilise and repair the existing fabric for use as a cultural hub for the performing arts.
The building is one of the most impressive of its type in the north Highlands, and it remains an outstanding local landmark.
The roof, notable for the survival of its traditional flagstones, is in a poor state and urgently requires bracing.
The proposed end users will be a charitable scheme aiming to promote an integrated, diverse arts and cultural programme to enhance the quality of life and tourism in the far north of Scotland.
A grant of £430,080 has been offered.

Hay Memorial Hall, Cornhill, Banff
This amenity, one of the most impressive small-scale village halls in Aberdeenshire, is a prominent street feature with a wealth of detail and well-preserved interior.
Dating from 1893, the galleried main hall includes a fine ribbed wooden panelling on the walls and impressive stained glass.
The project is community led and aims to re-point in the building, renew the main hall timber floor, and repair cast iron railings.
Immediate repairs are required to progress the scheme.
A grant of up to £24,666 has been offered.

Maybole Castle, Ayrshire
Maybole Castle, a 16th/17th century tower house, is a focus for the town and the centre of a project to create a community resource and heritage facility.
The Castle’s carved decorative work is unique, and the building is a rare survivor of high-status town house in a smaller settlement.
Although it has previously been in use for 450 years, the property is currently underused, and has been placed on the Buildings at Risk Register since 2009.
The project to repair and refit the Castle will enable a variety of community activities, including a local heritage centre, a Clan Kennedy facility, a meeting and events resource, and an arts and natural history exhibition space.
A grant of £109,024 has been offered.

The Old Courthouse, Campbeltown
This redundant and semi-derelict complex of buildings dates to the 18th century, and evolved from a merchant’s house into a gaol, courthouse and other public functions including a miners’ welfare institute.
The project aims to repair the Courthouse and ensure a sustainable long term future for the building. A social and creative hub will be developed, featuring; small business provision, event space, meeting rooms, training facilities, a heritage interpretation area and catering provision.
The Courthouse makes an important contribution to the centre of the historic burgh of Campbeltown.
A grant of £275,000 has been offered.

News releases on each case with quotes from grant recipients are available from Historic Scotland. Contact

Notes for editors:

  • A total of £1, 265,640 has been awarded in this round of grants.

  • 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 further information

Jennifer Johnston-Watt
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8070 or 07827 956 866