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Image: Portsoy harbour. Photo courtesy of North East Scotland Preservation Trust.
Image: Portsoy harbour. Photo courtesy of North East Scotland Preservation Trust.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside! Funding awarded to revitalise historic Scottish harbour buildings

26 July 2022

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is delighted to have awarded two new grants to projects aiming to revitalise historic harbour buildings in both Portsoy and Annan, which should help to transform their respective harbours into the perfect summer destinations for tourists and residents, helping to boost the local economy of these coastal towns.

These Scottish grants were among five awards given out in our latest grants meeting, where projects ranging geographically from the Isle of Lewis to Cardiff were offered funding totalling £54,590. You can find more information about the projects in Portsoy and Annan below.


Pictured on the left is the B-listed Granary Building and on the right is the A-listed Marble Warehouse. Photos courtesy of North East Scotland Preservation Trust.

Harbour Buildings, Portsoy, Aberdeenshire

North East Scotland Preservation Trust (NESPT)

Gifted by a local benefactor, the NESPT has acquired a portfolio of 10 historic buildings in Portsoy and Whitehills. In order to properly maintain and preserve all these properties, the Trust plans to initially investigate options to bring four currently underused or disused buildings back into productive use: the Category A-listed Marble Warehouse, the B-listed Marble Workshop, the B-listed Granary Building and the C-listed Rag Warehouse.

Located at the town’s harbour, the buildings are ideally placed to attract more tourists. As a result, ideas for their possible future uses include a hotel, self-catering apartments, a restaurant/cafe, arts and crafts workshops, a water sports centre, a traditional skills training centre and a farmers market selling local produce.

By bringing these buildings back to life, not only will it boost the local economy, but it will also create employment in the area. Further, a wide range of training opportunities will be offered during the restoration process, particularly to young people.

The Historic Environment Scotland-supported AHF grant will fund an options appraisal, condition survey and financial appraisal to assist the NESPT in identifying the most appropriate and financially viable options for the future of the buildings.

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Pictured on the left is Annan Harbour and on the right is the front of the Georgian former warehouse that Annan Harbour Action Group plan to restore. Photos courtesy of Annan Harbour Action Group. 

Harbour Hub, Annan, Dumfries and Galloway

Annan Harbour Action Group

Annan Harbour Action Group want to redevelop Annan Harbour so that it can recover its place as a vital economic, cultural and environmental resource for the town. As part of their plans, they will repair a Georgian former warehouse, which sits adjacent to the harbour quay, and restore it as a hub providing a range of activities and facilities, including heritage exhibitions, a workshop for heritage boat craft skills, a bunkhouse with visitor’s accommodation, and a flexible café and meeting space.

Additionally, a new connection to the River Annan will be created, clearing the old harbour of silt to enable leisure and commercial water access. This will also allow the creation of a tidal lagoon for safe recreational boating and fresh-water swimming. The project design responds to technical challenges of a complex hydrology, diverse habitat ecology and occasional flood risk with an integrated design strategy.

The AHF grant, made possible with funding from the William Grant Foundation Tailored Support Fund, will allow Annan Harbour Action Group to continue employing a Strategic Projects Manager through to the construction phase of the redevelopment. 

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