The Architectural Heritage Fund is delighted to have awarded Plockton and District Community Trust a Project Viability Grant to enable the continued use of former Plockton Post Office as a space for the local community.
This was one of eight awards given in the latest grants meeting, where projects ranging geographically from the Isles of Scilly to Belfast, were offered funding totalling £74,909.
Located on the main street of Plockton, a picturesque village on a sheltered bay of Loch Carron, this single-story, single-room cottage and shop dates back from the early 19th century and sits within a terrace of residential properties. Like so many attractive resort locations across the UK, Plockton suffers from a high level of absentee ownership – 48% of properties on the main street are not occupied year-round – and the community can struggle to feel connected during the quieter seasons.
Plockton Post Office has been a part of the community for the last 20 years, currently as a paper shop run by volunteers, and a retail outlet for the sale of local crafts in the summer season. The Category C-listed building is owned by the National Trust for Scotland, who have given the community first refusal on its purchase. The Trust wishes to take up on this offer, retaining the vibrancy of the village by bringing the building into community ownership, so that it can continue to serve its residents year-round.
The project involves repairing and extending the cottage to the rear to incorporate an existing, derelict outbuilding, providing workspace for home workers and a small meeting area to accommodate gatherings for groups, such as the community council, sailing club, bridge club, and the Harbour Association.
The AHF grant will fund the cost of a valuation, outline designs and a review of the business plan, bringing the Trust closer to purchasing the building and securing its long and vibrant life at the heart of the Plockton community.
Sandra Holmes, Chair of Plockton Community Development Trust, said:
"We are very grateful to the AHF for this funding. It will enable us to commission a local architect to assess the development potential of the building, whilst also maintaining the character of this much-loved local asset. The Old Post Office has been used informally by the community for many years and this support from AHF will strengthen our bid to acquire it on behalf of the community.”