We were delighted to welcome our President and Founder, His Royal Highness The Duke of Rothesay, to two of our Scottish projects, Broadford Works, Aberdeen and Merchant’s House, Brechin.
Both projects are hugely different in terms of progress, character and aims; however, both are important pieces of Scottish heritage and their successful and sustainable rescue and reuse is key to the health of the local economy and landscape.
Broadford Works is the largest collection of Category A listed buildings at risk in Scotland. It compromises over 100 buildings and is of international architectural, historic and industrial importance. The textile mill buildings are key to the site’s importance as they are a physical documentation of the area’s historic flax manufacturing and their dereliction stand as a stark reminder of the region’s industrial decline.
This centrally-located site’s future is still uncertain and as it continues to remain unused, a brilliant opportunity is being missed to provide the community with employment opportunities and much-needed facilities.
PRT consultants and staff, Kit Martin, Maria Perks and Pauline Megson met HRH and showed him around, along with site owner Ian Suttie.
We have been key in leading the project’s Steering Group and has shown absolute determination to find a future for the site that will benefit local residents as well as preserving the impressive industrial heritage. The Prince met some of the members of the Steering Group such as Historic Scotland, the City Council and Halliday Fraser Munro Architects. .
It is extraordinary that the post-medieval dwelling in Brechin, Merchant’s House, has survived with its rare 15th-century roof structure still intact. These special townhouses lay empty, redundant and neglected for four decades, blighting the High Street.
Historic buildings specialist, Kit Martin, recognised the importance of these buildings instantly; he commissioned The Prince’s Regeneration Trust to work with him in partnership to form a Steering Group and work on the ambitious task of restoring these historic buildings for contemporary use.
The work has removed the asbestos roof, repaired the rare 15th century roof structure, reinstated the Nepus gable chimney, repaired the stonework, applied traditional lime harl to the exterior - as well introducing the necessary modern services.
On the afternoon of the 4th October, His Royal Highness saw the fully restored townhouses and met their tenants, Mr. and Mrs. Wise and Mr. and Mrs. Walker. Kit Martin took HRH on the tour of the buildings, alongside our staff Pauline Megson and Jane Robertson.
The Prince will be introduced to, and especially interested in talking to, the local craftsmen and apprentices involved in the overall Townscape Heritage Initiative of which Merchant’s House’s survival and reuse is a fundamental part.
Ros Kerslake, our Chief Executive said:
We are hugely excited our President saw these two very different but important projects. We believe that in order to save and celebrate an area’s distinct character, it is key that we look to work with our wonderful local legacy of historic sites and rescue and reuse them whenever possible. Both these projects are at quite different stages and present different challenges and objectives – however, both tell the fascinating story of the two regions and their successful regeneration is fundamental to the local community, economy and landscape.