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Collaborating on the historic environment

10 September 2013

Five heritage projects – from Orkney to Saltcoats – will share a total of £1.69 million in Building Repair Grants.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the grants in a Parliamentary Debate on the implementation of Scotland’s first historic environment strategy.

Among the recipients is Scapa Flow Visitor Centre and Museum, Orkney which has been awarded £500,000 to restore and conserve its war time naval buildings. Duart Castle on Mull has also been awarded £500,000 to deal with rainwater penetration of its historic walls.

During the Debate Ms Hyslop emphasised the contribution of Scotland’s precious historic environment to communities across the country.

The Cabinet Secretary said:

“At its core, the strategy makes it clear that our historic environment is part of our everyday lives, providing us with a sense of place and cultural identity, contributing to our individual and collective wellbeing, and enhancing regional and local distinctiveness. It must be understood and valued, cared for, enjoyed and enhanced, for our benefit and that of generations to come.”

Acknowledging the need for cross-sector commitment and collaboration, she added:

“We cannot work in isolation if we are to achieve the best for our historic environment.  

“Across the heritage sector, we need to continue to build and develop the collaborative approach that characterised the development of the draft Historic Environment Strategy, as we deliver that strategy over the next 10-15 years.

“This is the first overarching strategy for Scotland’s historic environment and it belongs, not to government, but to the people of Scotland.”

Pointing out that the historic environment faces considerable challenges, not least from the “potentially devastating impact” of climate change, Ms Hyslop said:

“It is our role as a government to create the conditions in which our historic environment can best address these issues while continuing to flourish in its own right.”

Background

The Building Repair Grants scheme provides financial support to property owners to meet the cost of high-quality repairs using traditional materials and specialist craftsman to conserve original features, in buildings of special architectural or historic interest. In return, owners must maintain the building and allow some access to visitors.

The projects receiving Building Repair Grants from Historic Scotland are:

Scapa Flow Visitor Centre & Museum, Orkney (£500,000 grant)

This funding will see the restoration and conservation of the war time naval buildings at Lyness, Hoy, which are the home of the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre & Museum. The museum tells the story of the naval anchorage in World Wars 1 and 2, made all the more resonant and powerful by being sited in unique buildings which were themselves part of that story. The overall project aims to not only restore these unique buildings but to enhance the interpretation of artefacts and the buildings themselves, update displays and conserve unique and nationally/internationally important artefacts in the collection. The project, is also strongly rooted in the need to enhance the local area for its residents and visitors to the island.

Duart Castle, Mull (£500,000 grant)

The castle has a very serious problem with water penetration, particularly around the dormer windows, chimney breasts, and the two south facing gables. The external walls are becoming saturated and in gales and driven rain significant amounts of water run down the inside walls of the castle. This has caused damage to internal finishes and structure including wood, lathe and plaster and some of the exhibits and interpretation. The banqueting hall bay window also has significant water penetration, some of which is collected in buckets at floor level. These matters will be addressed during the present scheme of repair, together with additional roofworks, stonework repair & pointing.

Statues on the Kelvin Way, Glasgow (£20,000 grant)

HS’s grant will support repairs to four bronze statue groups, repointing of bridge and other fabric repairs. The statues are not only of outstanding quality for their artistic and technical merits, but are an important decorative element of the bridge and make a considerable contribution to the surrounding townscape.

Saltcoats Town Hall (Award of £162,688)

Following a first phase of wind and watertight repairs, Irvine Bay Development Company wish to complete this project and bring the disused Town Hall back into enhanced community use, as the local heritage centre, gallery, museum and office space for the benefit of locals and visitors. This will involve repairs to the clock tower, masonry, timber works, external facades, window/door repairs and a phase of internal works.

Former Rosebank Distillery, Camelon (Award of £500,000)

The Camelon Distillery Project intends the restoration of the former Rosebank Distillery site and bonded warehouse to their former use. This will involve urgent repairs to the fabric of the building. The full proposal will see the opening of a new “Forth and Clyde Brewery” on the Site in a specific new build facility and a visitor centre incorporating the Scottish National Brewing and Distilling Centre. The proposal is to restore the distillery to its former glory preserving the unique warehousing areas and opening as much of the site as possible to visitors

For more information about the Building Repairs Grants - www.historic-scotland.gov.uk/building-repair-grants

The Historic Environment Strategy was published for consultation on 8 May 2013

The RCAHMS and Historic Scotland Merger Bill was announced in the Programme for Government 2013-14 on 3 September 2013


For further information


Jane Robson
Scottish Government
Communications and Media
0131 244 2910 or 07771 555 607
jane.robson@scotland.gsi.gov.uk