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Historic Scotland awards over £2.6 million in grant aid

4 January 2008

A textile mill, community arts centre and castles are just three of the projects to be given a funding boost by Historic Scotland. This year’s awards will benefit 12 diverse projects from across the country.

Linda Fabiani MSP, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, said: “These grant-aided projects truly reflect the breadth and depth of Scotland’s history and heritage, ranging from a rare rural house, an art deco pub, through to mills, community halls and castles.

“In their different ways, each of these buildings will benefit their communities. Their repair will bring economic, cultural and community benefits, provide training opportunities and, in the case of Milladen Mill, safeguard jobs.”

The Building Repair Grants Scheme is run by Historic Scotland to help protect the nation’s architectural heritage.

Ms Fabiani added: “Many people I have met since becoming Culture Minister have expressed to me just how important our shared heritage is. It is particularly good to see that so many of these projects include explanation as to why these buildings are so important.

“This will mean that not only will future generations be able to use and enjoy them, but will be able to understand why preserving them is essential.”

In the last 15 years more than £150 million has been invested by Historic Scotland, securing the future of the historic environment in Scotland.

The projects to benefit this year are:

Brough Lodge
Fetlar, Shetland Islands
Award Offer: £500,000

Category A-listed Brough Lodge is a very unusual house – both for Shetland and Scotland. Its setting is included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. The building, which once included an observatory, will be used as residential study centre and tourist accommodation once it is repaired and missing architectural details are replaced. The courses offered strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the cultural heritage of Shetland. The work will provide valuable experience and training in traditional building skills ranging from stonemasonry, joinery, carpentry, lime harling, plastering, roof-slating and leadwork.

Baltersan Castle
Kirkoswald, South Ayrshire
Award Offer: £492,406

Though ruinous, A-listed Baltersan Castle is still of considerable importance and distinguished by very sophisticated stone detailing,. The repair will require traditional building skills and may provide training opportunities for apprenticeships. It is hoped that the repair and reuse of Baltersan Castle as a private residence club will contribute to regenerating the surrounding area and its tourist market.

Gillies Centre (North Wing and Archway Block)
Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh
Award Offer: £391,500

As the first post-Reformation convent built in Scotland, the B-listed centre is culturally and historically significant in understanding the development of Roman Catholicism. The Archdiocese has undertaken an external condition report of the building to identify the necessary work, including repairs to the slate roof and the stonework. This will allow the centre to continue to be used by various social, education, local authority and community groups.

Burgh Halls, Kirkgate and the Cross
Linlithgow, West Lothian
Award Offer: £380,903

The Burgh Halls are of significant historical and architectural interest and in the wider setting of the outstanding conservation area of Linlithgow. The repair of the A- and B-listed buildings will improve the community arts facility and give greater access to the numerous local groups that use it. The project will require significant specialist building work and it is hoped that apprentices and conservation students will be able to visit and gains hands-on experience as it progresses.

Portencross Castle
Portencross, by West Kilbride, Ayrshire
Award Offer: £367,442

Category A-listed Portencross Castle is a fine and early example of a relatively intact Ayrshire stronghold in an area that was historically a strategically important site on the Firth of Clyde. It is hoped that the traditional building skills required in the repair will provide opportunities for training. Once consolidation is complete the Castle will be opened to the public during the summer months by arrangement and there are plans to appoint guides. Interpretive panels and displays will also be introduced to explain the importance and the history of the Castle.

Old River Oich Bridge
Fort Augustus, Inverness-shire
Award Offer: £185,000

Old Oich Bridge is a unique and interesting structure. Its significance derives from its dramatic history and the welding together of part of an 18th century stone bridge with a 19th century timber bridge. The development and survival of this bridge is a very rare. Specialist masonry and joinery skills will be required to repair the bridge. Once work is complete it will provide alternative access to village shops, surgery, school and church.

Milladen Mill
Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire
Award Offer: £111,837

Milladen Mill originated as a flax manufactory and was initially constructed in 1789. In its regional context, it stands out as a rare survival of a rural mill, comparatively intact and on an impressive scale. The project will see the relocation of the textile firm from Peterhead, providing continued employment for 70 staff. The work will require specialist contractors to repair the mill wheel and re-pointing of the stone work.

Lanark Memorial Hall
St Leonards Street, Lanark
Award Offer: £95,951

Lanark Memorial Hall was erected in the memory of 232 men belonging to Lanark who lost their lives in the First World War (1914 – 1918). Its restrained, neo-classical style was popular in the inter-war period and the building was opened in April 1926. The repairs to the B-listed building will create work for skilled stonemasons, glass conservators and roofers. Once complete, the refurbished hall is expected to attract even more organisations than it currently does. As an arts venue it will be able to accommodate larger productions and improve the cultural life of South Lanarkshire.

Niddrie Mains Road, Edinburgh
Award Offer: £53,250

This former road house was once the focal point for the sizable 1930s estates that grew to surround it. It was originally built to provide entertainment and refreshment to travellers but later became popular with the local community. It reflects the changes of lifestyle and travel in the early 20th century. A surprising amount of internal Art Deco details survive, including door surrounds, details within the bar area and the entrances and stairwells. It is currently on the Buildings at Risk register but will form part of the wider regeneration of Craigmillar. It is intended that local unemployed people will work alongside professionals to bring it back into use as a bar.

Northern Hotel
Great Northern Road, Aberdeen
Award Offer: £35,478

The Northern Hotel is a fine example of Scotland’s interpretation of Art Deco and it is often used to illustrate a surviving 1930s building with a largely unaltered exterior. HS has previously given grant totalling £189,293 to this project. This further award for the former university hall of residence will see the continued improvement of one of the country’s most important buildings of its type.

Mill of Foveran Farmhouse
Newburgh, Ellon
Award Offer: £20,022

Mill of Foveran is one of a group of historic industrial buildings in a rural setting and is an unusual survival. Its age, usual development history and quirky architectural details make the building stand out within the region. Repairs will include the use of traditional skills to re-harl and re-point the stonework in lime.

Carnsalloch House
Kirkton, Dumfries
Award Offer: Still to be determined.

Carnsalloch House is comparable with some of the best small Palladian villas in Britain and is outstanding in a Scottish context. The A-listed building is remarkable for the elegance of its proportions and restraint of detail. Since closing as a private school in 2004, it has been unoccupied and is on the Buildings at Risk register. It has also been a target for vandals. Specialist builders will be required to carry out much of the work to convert the building into flats, which should provide traditional buildings skills training.

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.
·A total of £2,633,789 has been awarded with one grant amount still to be determined.
·Grants are normally allocated as a percentage of the estimated cost of a project.
·A series of criteria are used to decide on grants, including the social, educational and economic benefits the project would bring to the community as well as the urgency or the repairs.
·At this stage the grant offers are conditional and projects have to gain all the necessary permissions and meet all agreed delivery conditions.
·There are three listing categories A, B and C(S). A is the highest and is only awarded to buildings and structures of national or international significance. Listing aims to prevent unwanted change and ensure that buildings which contribute to Scotland’s heritage are used in a sustainable way and can be enjoyed by future generations. For more information on the listing of buildings for their architectural or historical interest visit

For further information

Lesley Brown

Historic Scotland

Communications & Media Officer

0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873