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St Ninian's Parish Hall, Stirling

St Ninians Parish Hall, Stirling

Originally built in the 1840s this Grade C listed Parish Hall was poorly insulated and heated. This grant funded community led project sought to address this


Originally built as a Free Church in the 1840s the building featured in this case study was converted into Parish Halls in 1892. The building is C listed. There was no gas supply to the building with heating being provided by suspended electric radiant heaters in the hall and kitchen and fan heaters in smaller rooms. This form of heating meant the Parish Halls had an annual heating bill of around £3000.

                    St Ninians preview


Following an Eco-Congregration district meeting in 2009 with Going Carbon Neutral Stirling, the Energy Saving Trust carried out a survey of the Church and Parish Halls. Potential savings and sources of funding were identified and these included: Scottish Government’s Climate Challenge Fund, managed by independent charity Keep Scotland Beautiful; Community And Renewables Energy Scheme (CARES), managed by Community Energy Scotland (now managed by Energy Saving Trust); and the Local Environmental Trust Fund.

The survey results recommended by the Energy Saving Trust included: insulating the roof, installing secondary glazing, insulating the internal walls, installing energy efficient lighting and installing an air source heat pumps.

An application was made to the climate challenge fund in January 2010. As a result of the building’s C listed status restrictions were put on the scope of the work that could be carried out including limits on lowering ceilings for insulation and restrictions on the location of external units and vents.

The main work carried out in the project was: the insulation of walls and roof; installation of four air to air source heat pumps; installation of low energy lights; fitting secondary glazing and general repairs. 


The work carried out at St Ninians Parish Halls has remedied serious faults and degradation in the building, securing it for use for the future. Energy efficiency measures and renewable heating systems installed mean the building takes 60% less energy to heat and is saving over 7 tonnes of CO2 per year. The project was a finalist in the best community initiative category of the Scottish Green energy Awards. 


                     St Ninians Completed


Recommendations from the team at St Ninians Parish Hall for similar groups include

  • Confirm the feasibility of the project
  • Assess the availability of grants.
  • Allow time for discussion with grant funders and planning officers
  • Get local politicians on board with the project
  • When exploring the use of renewable technology get lots of quotes and ideas in early in the programme
  • Engage a team within the community group to support the project leader
  • Keep facility users informed of any delays
  • Engage a local Architect and Quantity Surveyor


Climate Challenge Fund

Eco Congregation Scotland

Energy saving Trust

Community Energy Scotland


Resource Efficient Scotland supported the preparation and presentation of this case study for the Retrofit Scotland website.

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