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Training for the Future: A Sustainable New Use for the Former Offices of Historic Locomotive Works

28 March 2023

Situated in Springburn, Glasgow – once a global centre of railway engineering - St Rollox Locomotive Works is a rare example of a surviving 19th-century centre for locomotive manufacture and repair. First built in 1854–56 for the Caledonian Railway Company, the Works were enlarged and remodelled between 1884 and 1886. By 1900, St Rollox had become Scotland's largest locomotive manufacturing and repair works. The Category B-listed St Rollox House, specifically, was used as offices for the Works, and is the most prominent remaining part of the historic site.

Saheliya is a specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for women (12+) experiencing racial and gender inequality in Edinburgh, Glasgow and surrounding areas. Since 2014, St Rollox House has been used by Saheliya as a base for its support services.

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is pleased to announce that it has awarded a Project Viability Grant to Saheliya to progress plans to renovate St Rollox House and make it fit for purpose. This was one of four awards made in the latest grants meeting, where projects ranging geographically from Castlewellan to Fife were offered funding totalling £34,445.

To ensure that it better suits the organisation and its service user’s needs going forwards, Saheliya has identified a range of ways in which it can improve St Rollox House. This includes creating a large community room, one-to-one support rooms, a groupwork training room and a learning hub; restoring all heritage features possible and increasing understanding of the maintenance requirements of the building; increasing accessibility of the building; developing sustainable energy generation and storage; increasing privacy and safety; developing the whole attic space as office accommodation; developing an adventure playground for children; and utilising the outside space as a market garden.

The new AHF grant, funded thanks to support from Historic Environment Scotland, will enable Saheliya to revisit and make changes to plans from an earlier 2019 feasibility study, which was also supported by the AHF.

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