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Grants of over £110,000 awarded to historic buildings across Scotland

23 December 2019

Millport Town Hall, Inverness Creative Academy and Portree’s former Ice House are just three of sixteen projects across Scotland that have secured funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund in the last three months.

Thanks to funding programmes supported by Historic Environment Scotland and the William Grant Foundation, over the last quarter, the AHF has offered over £110,000 to support projects from Portree in the west to Dunbar in the east to assist them in developing sustainable new uses for historic buildings. Common to all projects is that they will re-use heritage assets to help deliver social and economic benefits to their local communities.

Situated in the Isle of Cumbrae conservation area, the refurbishment of Millport Town Hall will result in an up-to-date community space and performance venue, coupled with income-generating holiday accommodation. Following support to help test the viability of the groups ideas last year, the AHF has now offered a further grant of £20,000 towards the costs of the project design team. The vision is that this venue will help attract visitors to stay and enjoy all that this very accessible island has to offer, as well as reinstate the hall at the heart of large-scale community gatherings.
Angie McCallum, Chair of Millport Town Hall Charity, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have been awarded funds from the Architectural Heritage Fund. This will enable the development of the concept design moving through planning and warrants towards the procurement and tender stage for the renovation of this historic building. This regenerational project will provide the entire population of the Isle of Cumbrae with a central and sustainable building which will have wide reaching social and economic benefits.”


The Inverness Royal Academy was built in 1895 as the first purpose built large secondary school in the Highlands. WASPS Studios is bringing back this Category B listed building into use as a creative hub. Following development support in 2017, the AHF has now offered a further £10,000 to help support the second phase of this project. The completed first phase is already fully occupied by thirty working artists, 2 creative learning organisations, a community darkroom; and plays host to numerous events, workshops and exhibitions, and the completion of Phase II will allow for far more community engagement and public spaces as well as further lettable space.Responding to both heritage and climate emergencies, a project in Portree led by Climavore CIC seeks to re-use a historic B listed ice house. Echoing its original use, the planned conversion to education and research centre will enable visitors and locals alike to explore coastal ecology and sustainable food production. The AHF has offered £5,000 towards the cost of undertaking a condition survey; the building is in poor condition and currently on the Scottish Buildings at Risk Register.

Shona Cameron, Project Manager at Climavore CIC, said: "We are thrilled to have been awarded funding in support of our aim to repair and adapt this B-listed building into a not-for-profit cultural and environmental centre run by the local community. The CLIMAVORE Station will provide unique experiences that explore how to eat as our climate changes.”

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive of the AHF, said: “This fabulous group of projects helps to show the diversity of the buildings, uses and organisations we are supporting across Scotland. We are hugely grateful to our funders and supporters, particularly Historic Environment Scotland and the William Grant Foundation, for their continued support.”

Editor’s notes
1) The Architectural Heritage Fund is a registered charity, working since 1976 to promote the conservation and sustainable re-use of historic buildings for the benefit of communities across the UK, particularly in economically disadvantaged areas. We are the leading heritage social investor and the only specialist heritage lender operating in the UK. We provide advice, development grants and loans.

2) For media enquiries please contact Oliver Brodrick Ward, on 020 79250199 /

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