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Glengate Hall, Kirriemuir

Glengate Hall, Kirriemuir

The category C listed Glengate Hall in Kirriemuir's town centre was brought back into use as nine flats after laying vacant for a decade.

Overview

The category C listed Glengate Hall in the rural town of Kirriemuir, Angus had lain empty for over a decade. Its vacant status led to its demise and poor condition, both internally and externally. The former church, and latterly hall, no longer served its original function for the community. The building condition and overall public impression of it concerned the new owner and local authority.

Angus Council identified it as one of four Priority Projects within what was to be the forthcoming Kirriemuir Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. A collaborative approach between the owner, Angus council, the Scottish Government and Historic Scotland saved the building from demolition.

Nine affordable units were provided within the renovation, in line with local demand (a housing need of one and two beds had been identified). Saving Glengate hall was a catalyst in positively driving forward the town center’s regeneration.

 Glengate Hall

 

Approach

 

Funding

Council officers initially contacted the owners of the hall, Redford Homes, in the summer of 2012 to discuss the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) which was underway in Kirriemuir. Having expressed an interest to bring the hall back into use, the owners were however concerned about raising the required finance to complete the project. Council officers then reassured the owners by recommending the Empty Homes Loan Fund as an alternative financial option.

Officers believed that the loan fund was a viable option as the hall had been empty for 9 years and required urgent works to ensure its preservation and its town centre location offered suitability for use as affordable housing. Funding from both the CARS and Empty Homes Loan Funds were secured in late 2012.

The overall project cost was around £650 000.

 

Works

Works began in 2013 with roofing and stone work repairs. This included the repair and replacement of rainwater goods, re-slating and exterior wall re-pointing. There was extensive internal water damage and these measures helped prevent any further water ingress.

Works then began on the internal aspects. The walls and flooring were dismantled. Excavation works ensured that the appropriate foundations were in place for internal structures.

Given that the building was listed and within a conservation area, careful thought had to be given to the choice of glazing to be installed. The owners were in constant dialogue with the local planning and conservation departments to ensure a smooth development process. This also applied to some features of the building which were deemed necessary to remain/ be restored within the new structure. Two memorial tablets to previous ministers were to be housed on the walls within the stairwell, and the bellcote on the south gable end was to be cleared of vegetation and restored. So although the project would contain many features associated with modern living, there would also be characteristics from the original building, which would ensure that a little piece of the buildings’ history remained intact.

As well as the physical assembly of each dwelling, the works also included the construction of a stairwell and modifications to the existing window spaces to incorporate a 2nd floor which accommodates four of the new flats. Each flat offers double-glazing, is super-insulated and sound-proofed to ensure prospective tenants enjoy a comfortable living space which is affordable to heat. The whole property includes nine flats.

The project was completed in summer 2014.

Glengate Hall Construction Of A 1st Floor Flat

Construction of a first floor flat

 

Glengate Hall Interior

Completed open plan kitchen

Performance

The nine flats offers modern, energy efficient living in a history buildings full of character. Rent levels are affordable (less than Local Housing Allowance rates) and will remain the same for ten years until 2024. This means that a one-bedroom flate will be £296.95 per month and a two-bedroom flat £405.

The project was shortlisted for SAQP2015 for Delivering in Partnership and was a winner at the SURF 2014 Awards for Town Centre Regeneration.

Lessons

  • The project highlighted the value of collaborative working and of sharing ideas and projects. This creates a greater impact as well as being useful for securing funding sources. Ongoing open dialogue was vital.
  • Glengate Hall contributed to a re-ignited a passion for the town centre. A ‘sum of parts’ approach to regenerating town centre buildings can create a momentum in regenerating town centers. Old buildings also provide and opportunity to remember and save the history and stories of a town.
  • Be objective and realistic, with a spark of imagination and optimism.
  • Consider both the short and long term benefits. These buildings and towns have been here for years, we need to consider them for years to come.
  • Use the media – let locals know what is happening.
  • Before during and after…communicate, communicate, communicate.
  • Continuing to look at re-use and adaption of buildings for the future for both public and private sector development

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