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23 March 2021

Funding boost for repairs to Scottish heritage structures

Projects include Scotland’s last surviving historic steam-powered slipway which provides a crucial link for the Maid of the Loch

exterior view of the Abbots House in Dunfermline

Historic Environment Scotland has announced funding of £204,457 to support conservation repair projects.

The A-listed Abbot House in Dunfermline has been awarded £110,349 for repairs to enable the re-use of the building as a community cultural hub with a café, shop and rentable space including workshop space.

A digital archive featuring photographs, drawings, architectural plans, documents and local records relating to the house will also be accessible to the public. Built in the 16th century, Abbot House is the oldest surviving building in Dunfermline.

£94,108 has also been awarded to the Loch Lomond Steamship Company for the repair and replacement of the Balloch Steam slipway and carriage. The steam-powered slipway is the only one surviving in Scotland and Europe, and the project will retain as much of the historic fabric as possible.

The repairs to the slipway and carriage will facilitate the urgent slipping of the Maid of the Loch Paddle Steamer which will allow essential repairs and restoration work to be carried out on the vessel.

This funding is part of HES’ Historic Environment Repair Grant programme which supports works to buildings or ancient monuments which are of special architectural, historic or archaeological significance across Scotland.

This also follows the recent announcement that HES awarded £93,410 to Glasgow Building Preservation Trust, as part of the Historic Environment Repair Grant, for repairs to the B-listed Carntyne Parish Church in Glasgow.

Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said:

These projects showcase just how diverse and unique Scotland’s historic environment is and we’re delighted to support them as part of the Historic Environment Repair Grant.

“The funding will allow high-quality, specialised conservation works to be carried out for the slipping of the last paddle steamer built in the UK, as well as the repair and reuse of Dunfermline’s oldest surviving building, enabling a sustainable reuse for the wider community to enjoy.”

Lynn Gemmell, Trustee of Abbot House, said:

“The re-opening of Abbot House will once again allow the people of Dunfermline and its visitors to connect socially, to learn and to be creative.

It is an opportunity to bring together the best of what is on our doorstep locally and to celebrate and support our heritage, culture and people.

"The Abbot House SCIO is protective and respectful of our heritage building but is also excited about embracing new opportunities to create a wonderful sustainable venue that can be enjoyed by everyone for many years to come. In particular, we are focused on wellbeing, inclusivity and sustainability and are grateful and delighted that Historic Environment Scotland can enable us in this through their financial support.”

Anne Urquhart, Volunteer Director at Loch Lomond Steamship Company, said:

Two years on from the unfortunate incident with the Maid of the Loch’s old slipway carriage Loch Lomond Steamship Company is close to completing a new much stronger replacement. That is thanks to this generous grant from Historic Environment Scotland.

"The Winch House and Slipway is a Category A listed structure and is the only slipway still in steam in Europe so it is truly unique and its preservation is essential.

"To know that Historic Environment Scotland has the confidence in us as a volunteer led charity to complete such a complicated task is both humbling and very reassuring.”

Applications for the Historic Environment Repair Grant are open throughout the year and are considered in two batches. The next closing date is Monday 31 May.

More about the Historic Environment Repair Grant

About Year of Coasts and Waters 2021

The Year of Coasts and Waters (#YCW2021), led by VisitScotland, will be showcased throughout 2021. Activities and ideas will shine a spotlight on the impact our waters have had on Scotland, from the formation of beautiful natural features to the creation of our national drink - whisky.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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For further information, please contact:

Stacey Dent
Historic Environment Scotland Media Office
Mobile: 07221 959 962