Following the completion of an extensive restoration project, The Port House officially opened yesterday. The former Category A-listed Co-operative building in the Borders town of Jedburgh has been transformed into a community resource centre by the local Jedburgh Community Trust, with project management by Scottish Historic Buildings Trust. It will provide office accommodation for The Bridge, a third sector organisation supporting community and voluntary organisations in the local area. The Trust is also working with Home Town Hub to provide flexible short-term workspace on the first floor, with additional space to let on the second floor.
Designed by James Pearson Allison of Hawick, this former warehouse was completed in 1900 for the Jedburgh Co-operative Store Company. Its design was innovative (and costly) at the time in its use of a cast iron frame, which allowed large areas of glass curtain walling. This provided an open floor plan with good light, thereby improving conditions for workers and permitting extended hours of operation in the darker winter months. Use of this technology was growing in Scottish cities at the time, but was unusual to find in a small town. The building was also used as the head office and for retail, thanks again to the large glass windows.
Situated in the Jedburgh Conservation Area, the funding package for this project comprised contributions from Jedburgh Conservation Area Regeneration Fund, the Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Fund, Scottish Borders Council, Fallago Environment Fund, and Co-op Good Causes Fund.
The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to have been able to assist with project development costs, including specialist surveys and design team and project management fees. Further, loan investment of £100,000 provided working capital to support the conservation and refurbishment works, with a total project cost of circa £1.3m.