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£1.3m Boost to Historic Buildings

27 January 2011

Culture and External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop today announced more than £1.3m for five varied heritage projects.

Lews Castle, Dundee’s High Mill, Newbattle Abbey College, Balloch Castle and Alexander Scott’s Hospital have all been recognised by Historic Scotland’s Building Repair Grants.

The Minister said: “These projects have the potential to benefit their communities; either ensuring the buildings continue in their function, like Alexander Scott’s Hospital, or by giving historic buildings a new lease of life.

“The High Mill in Dundee, Balloch Castle, Newbattle Abbey and Lews Castle have the potential to create facilities for exhibition space, community use and make a greater contribution to the local economy.

“Our heritage has very real and tangible benefits that our continued investment is crucial to. Government has had to make some difficult decisions when it comes to funding, but we are committed to playing our part in seeing that worthwhile redevelopments are given the support it deserves.

“Each of these projects will create jobs and contribute locally in the long term. It is imperative that we continue to support this and encourage people to use our historic environment as a catalyst for wider redevelopment. Every one is an important landmark and these projects should see them continue to be so for years to come.”

High Mill, Verdant Works, Dundee
Dundee Heritage Trust, £500,000

Dundee Heritage Trust in association with Tayside Building Preservation Trust proposes to repair the A-listed textile mill – a well preserved remnant of an industry of world wide importance at its peak – to create an archive and exhibition space with the partnership of high profile local companies. The 19th century High Mill was built for merchant and flax spinner David Lindsay in 1833. Other parts of the mill complex have been restored and converted to house an industrial museum telling the story of jute manufacture in Dundee and is part of the Discovery Trail.

Lews Castle, Stornoway
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles Council), £500,000

Making the Western Isles’ grandest building wind and watertight will be the first step to bringing A-listed Lews Castle back into use.  Comhairle nan Eilean Siar proposes following the repair of the building with adapting the castle for use in providing facilities for hospitality, an archive and museum. The A-listed building, built in 1848, was designed by Charles Wilson for Sir James Matheson as his Lewis residence. Matheson, who purchased the island in 1844, is famous as co-founder of Jardine Matheson.

Newbattle Abbey College
Newbattle Abbey College, £152,484

The site of Newbattle Abbey College originally housed the most important Cistercian monastery in the Lothians. After the Reformation and partial deconstruction of the monastery the medieval building was incorporated into a house that was to become the principal seat of the Kerr family for four centuries. Among the original features retained is the 17th century plasterwork ceiling in the library and the drawing room, designed by Thomas Bonnar, is described as one of the finest rooms in Scotland. The repairs will include urgent works to the roof and rainwater goods critical to the preservation of the original fabric of the building to safeguard its future and to allow the Newbattle Abbey Trust to continue their expansion of community activities on the site .

Balloch Castle, West Dunbartonshire
West Dunbartonshire Council, £64,056

Roof and masonry repairs to Balloch Castle are intended to expand its use as an education and visitor centre for the area, within Loch Lommond National Park, leading to greater use of its conference and public areas. Balloch Castle was built in 1808/9 for John Buchanan of Ardoch, a partner in the Glasgow Ship Bank, to the designs of Robert Lugar, a prominent English architect working in Scotland and Wales.

Alexander Scott’s Hospital, Huntly
Alexander Scott’s Hospital, Huntly,  £85,000

Alexander Scott’s Hospital remains a care home, true to its original purpose. The original building was designed by William smith of Aberdeen, most famously known as the architect of Balmoral Castle. The grant funding will assist with the latest phase of repairs to the building to preserve the masonry and ensure its structural integrity. The hospital is listed at category A, meaning it is of national importance. An earlier phase of work in 2004-05 received £21,100 assistance from Historic Scotland.

For information

  • The total amount of grants awarded in this round is £1,301,540.

Notes for editors

  • 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