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More than £1m for historic sites

1 July 2011

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop announced more than £1m of funding for repairs to historic buildings today.

The projects to benefit from Historic Scotland’s Building Repair Grants are:

  • The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum;
  • Craigston Castle estate;
  • Dunoon Burgh Halls;
  • Drum Castle;
  • The Haining estate in the Scottish Borders, and
  • Ullapool Museum

The Cabinet Secretary said:

“These grants will go to a mixture of buildings in public use, private ownership and charitable trusts but they all have the potential to have a positive impact on their local communities and economy. Simply ensuring that they are repaired and retained creates opportunities for real benefits.

“Times are tough but each of these projects exemplify why we need to invest in buildings at the heart of our communities so they can continue to be a resource for us all.

”This batch of grant awards includes buildings that house art and collections that are open to the public, venues that are available to hire and encourage tourism and each and every one of them represents something unique and has a story to tell.”

Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum

Established by the bequest of artist Thomas Stuart Smith (1815 – 1869) the Gallery was purpose-built in 1874 as The Smith Institute. It housed a collection of mainly contemporary art with museum and library reading rooms “for the benefit of the inhabitants of Stirling, Dunblane and Kinbuck.” The Trustees hope to follow the repairs with the development of ambitious proposals to improve access, heating, insulation and an expansion of the gallery spaces thereby providing the opportunity to display the extensive collections more comprehensively and in a contemporary and accessible manner.

A grant of £264,600  has been offered.

Craigston Castle estate

The plans for the repairs to the Craigston Castle estate will repair the external shell of the buildings  to make them wind and watertight, including roof repairs, stonework re-pointing, lime harling and the repair and reinstatement of doors, windows and guttering.  The wider project will see them become holiday accommodation, encouraging sustainable tourism.

A grant of £243,371 has been offered.

Dunoon Burgh Halls

The B-Listed Burgh Hall was the only theatre in Argyll from its construction in 1873 until the 1960s. The theatre went out of use completely in the 1980s and was eventually registered as a Building at Risk. In early 2009, the John McAslan Family Trust purchased the derelict building with the intention of transforming it into a cultural centre for the town and wider region. The Burgh Hall was re-opened in May of that year following a series of initial repairs and has remained in use since then through a diverse programme of cultural activities.

A grant of 161,241 has been offered.

Drum Castle, Aberdeenshire

Dating from the 13th Century, the National Trust for Scotland property is the oldest intact building in the care of the conservation charity, who intend an ambitious £1.16m programme of works to halt water damage to the building and prevent any further deterioration. The project will also boost the castle’s business as a wedding venue and will allow full public access to the tower once again. Further funding towards the project has been secured through the National Trust for Scotland’s US Foundation.

A grant of £465,720  has been offered.

The Haining estate

Work will see the A-listed mansion house removed from the Buildings at Risk Register and will provide business and office units and so secure the building’s future. This is the first phase of an overall redevelopment plan for the estate, including conversion of the mansion house to form a contemporary arts, music and literature centre and the successful adaption and re-use of these buildings will provide a crucial business model for the sustainable future of the estate.  

A grant of £37,494  has been offered.

Ullapool Museum

The A-listed former church is renowned for being one of the best preserved parliamentary churches attributed to Thomas Telford; celebrated civil engineer, architect, road, bridge and canal builder. The project will involve specific stonework re-pointing and repairs to the harling and limewashed areas of the building. This will allow the continued use of the museum as a community resource and vital part of the Destination Ullapool Initiative; promoting the area’s attractions, businesses and activities to visitors.

A grant of £14,011  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 £1,186,437 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

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768096