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Credit - Paul Higson
Credit - Paul Higson

Clydesdale Bank

Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

North East Scotland Preservation Trust

From B-listed banking hall to green hotel

Located at a prominent corner site in the centre of Fraserburgh, North East Scotland, this Category B-listed former Town & Country Bank was designed by J. Russell Mackenzie in 1875. 

After its closure in 2017, the North East Scotland Preservation Trust (NESPT) saw potential to convert the empty building into a hotel to meet the local demand for accommodation. The local authority, keen to see disused town centre buildings being restored, supported NESPT in acquiring the bank in early 2020.

Prior to development work, the building lacked insulation in the roof, walls, and floors, and had only single-glazed sash and case windows. As part of the conversion, NESPT are working to improve the thermal performance of the building through the application of breathable materials. These will work with, rather than against the historic fabric, helping to make the listed building weather-proof, insulated, and sustainable.  

Specific measures being introduced to improve its thermal performance include the addition of loft insulation with associated ventilation, applying breathable insulation to the inner face of the external stone walls, using lime plaster throughout the building, and upgrading the windows with slim profile double-glazing. Further works being undertaken to ensure the sustainability of the building also include the introduction of higher capacity guttering, a solar array to the south-facing roof, and low water-use sanitary fittings. A new build extension will be given a ‘green roof,’ with broad overhangs on south-facing windows to reduce solar gain. 

The entire project is benefitting from using architects qualified in both conservation and sustainable building design.  

The anticipated total cost of capital works for this project is £1.2 million. The AHF has contributed £30,000 towards the costs of developing the scheme, which has consequently helped NESPT to secure £312,734 from the Aberdeenshire Council Town Centre Fund and £150,500 from the Place Based Investment Programme. Fundraising continues for the full capital sum.

NESPT are adopting a range of environmentally friendly measures to help in the conversion of Clydesdale bank, proving that it is possible for listed buildings to go green.

Paul Higson, Project Manager of the North East Scotland Preservation Trust, said:

“Restoring and repurposing heritage buildings can contribute to environmental sustainability efforts because buildings that already exist are a huge past investment in carbon spent during the building’s construction, including extraction of materials, manufacture, transport, installation, and waste generated during construction. These all-form part of its embodied energy. By retaining an existing building, we are not wasting the embodied carbon in its original construction, neither are we adding to its carbon cost through the process of demolition.”

NESPT – North East Scotland Preservation Trust 

Credit - Paul Higson
Credit - Paul Higson
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