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Historic Scotland awards over £800,000 in grant aid

30 August 2007

Grants of more than £800,000 have been offered for projects involving listed buildings of outstanding historic and architectural importance throughout Scotland.

This year’s awards will benefit projects in Tiree, Aberlour, Glasgow, Cromarty, Annan and Dalkeith.

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

Linda Fabiani MSP, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, said: “Historic Scotland grants can make all the difference in ensuring that important historic buildings continue to play a valuable role in their communities.

“One of this year’s grants will go towards repairs of 19th century sailors’ accommodation that is now a vital source of low-cost housing on Tiree. Another will benefit an architecturally important Glasgow church which is an active place of worship and hopes to become the headquarters for a charity that works with the homeless and people with addictions.”

In the last 15 years more than £150 million has been distributed to secure the future of the historic environment in Scotland.

The projects to benefit this year are:

The Barracks
Lower Square, Hynish, Tiree.
Applicant: The Hebridean Trust.
Award offer: £20,216.

The Barracks were designed for seamen living in the small community at Hynish which was founded in 1837-40 to serve Stevenson’s Skerryvore Lighthouse. Its name comes from the fact that it was designed on an astylar gridded formula favoured by the military – for example in the Governor’s House at Fort George. It was also highly sophisticated for its time and place, as most Tiree residents would have lived in drystone blackhouses.
Nowadays The Barracks serve as six flats and have been vital in regenerating the community by providing low cost housing to help keep young families on the island.
The award will contribute to the cost of repointing the entire building using traditional materials and techniques, the capping of chimney pots and replacement of lead sheet weather flashings and cast iron rhones.

Knockando Woolmill,
Aberlour, Moray.
Applicant: Knockando Woolmill Trust.
Award offer: £282,000.

A rare example of a small, vernacular industry in harmony with its environment. It is especially important because the whole complex and its machinery have survived, meaning there is great potential to give insights into a vanished way of life. It is regarded as a time capsule of outstanding value because it is the sort of near agricultural and industrial unit that operated at close to subsistence level which has rarely been sought out for preservation.
The grant will contribute to a comprehensive programme of repairs to the buildings and machinery.
It is hoped the mill will eventually be opened to the public and will provide employment opportunities and income as a visitor attraction.

St Vincent Street Church,
265, St Vincent Street,
Applicant: Glasgow City Council.
Award offer: £349,710.

The church is an architectural masterpiece by Alexander Thomson that was designed and built between 1857-59. One of its main features is the stylistically unique tower which dominates the skyline in this part of the city.
It is hoped that the Open Door Trust, which works with the homeless and people with addictions, will relocate its offices to the church.
The grant will help with structural consolidation work to the main roof trusses, reinstatement of internal plasterwork and joiner work, stripping and recovering of the main high level roof and repairs to high level stonework.

Townlands Barn,
High Street, Cromarty.
Applicant: Highland Building Preservation Trust.
Award offer: £163,310.

The oldest surviving building in the burgh of Cromarty and a fine piece of vernacular architecture. While much of the interior detail of this Laird’s House was lost when the building was converted to agricultural use, its shell retains some outstanding architectural detail which mark it out from other buildings of this type. Restoration would enhance the appearance of the area where it stands and enhance its historic interest.
The grant will go towards the repair and conversion of the building for commercial and residential use. This will provide economic benefits by providing premises for two new businesses with outlets on the High Street.

Former Erskine Church,
15, Bank Street, Annan.
Applicant: S and S Property Developers.
Award offer: TBA.

An early 19th century church of fine design that makes a valuable contribution to the surrounding townscape.
The award would contribute to plans to convert it into 11 flats to provide affordable housing for first time buyers, single people and the elderly.

Riverside Cottage,
Newbattle Abbey College, Newbattle Road, Dalkeith.
Applicant: Newbattle Abbey College.
Award offer: £67,740.

The award will contribute to the reslating of the roof, repairs and redecoration of external joinery and metalwork and repairs to the chimney stack. It will also go towards the redecoration and refitting of the kitchen and bathroom plus the upgrading of services.
The project will help provide training in specialist building and conservation skills. Once the project is complete the cottage is intended to be used as a Writer in Refuge residence. This would see a writer escaping persecution being given the opportunity to develop a relationship with the local community. This in turn would help local youngsters develop new skills and ideas, plus an awareness of issues in the wider world.

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is responsible for keeping and updating the nation’s list of buildings and structures that warrant legal protection due to their architectural or historic importance. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government.
  • A total of £882,976 has been awarded with one grant amount still to be determined.
  • Grants normally cover 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 their urgency.
  • At this stage the grant offers are conditional and projects have to gain all the permissions and be delivered in agreed ways to set standards.
  • 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
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873