We are hugely excited to welcome our President, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, to our completed project in the North Highlands - Caithness Flagtone Cottages.
These delightful and charming cottages tell the economic and social history of Caithness's once flourishing flagtone industry. They have been redundant since the 1960s. We acquired the cottages in 2009 to restore the historic fabric and secure a sustainable future that would benefit the local community and honour their heritage.
It was a challenging project as despite the cottages being the only two left untouched of their kind - they were unlisted - which limited us in terms of funding. However, we continued to campaign to save the buildings and a donation from the Pilgrim Trust last year allowed us to start work.
The cottages were built in the nineteenth century from discarded flagstone, and were home to quarry workers. Caithness was the first place in the world to commercially distribute flagtsone internationally - and New York, South Africa, New Zealand all have Caithness paving today.
The project was completed in partnership with the North Highlands Initiative (NHI)- also founded by The Prince of Wales. The partnership demonstrates our commitment to the North Highlands and how the restoration of redundant buildings is not only possible, but a key part of any scheme that sets out to support and regenerate communities.
We are really looking forward to our President seeing the completed cottages - they will be used as a base for our staff and from the NHI and will be available as holiday let from September this year.
Photos of the visit to follow!
Coverage available on the BBC.