WORK TO repair water damage to Lerwick Town Hall has received a fillip in the shape of a grant from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) worth nearly quarter of a million pounds.
HES confirmed the £233,855 grant towards the A-listed Victorian building’s upkeep – amounting to 14 per cent of the estimated £1.7 million cost of the repairs to be carried out.
Major maintenance work carried out in 1997 appeared to have used stone material that “unfortunately hasn’t stood the test of time”, Shetland Islands Council convener Malcolm Bell said 12 months ago.
If one pane of stained glass came away, Bell said, the fear was that “it would all come tumbling out like a pack of cards”.
Since then the building has been upgraded from B-list to A-list and now HES has coughed up funding. The council is also seeking other outside sources to minimise the financial burden on its own coffers.
HES said the funding to repair water damage would form “part of a wider project by the Shetland Amenity Trust to enhance community use of the hall, and eventually improve the tourism offering”.
Bell said on Tuesday that the local authority was delighted with the funding news.
“We said at the time that we need this expenditure like a hole in the head, but the truth of the matter was we had very little choice.
“It’s a listed building that we’re responsible for. This is a significant contribution towards the cost and we’ll continue to work hard to minimise the ultimate draw on the local public purse.”
Shetland’s main civic building, Lerwick Town Hall was designed by Inverness architect Alexander Ross to provide a concert hall, meeting place and social venue for the town.
Its clock tower was designed by local builder John M Aitken in 1882, and the impressive stained glass windows depict aspects of Shetland’s history from 870 to 1469AD.
Become a supporter of Shetland News
Shetland News is asking its many readers to consider start paying for their dose of the latest local news delivered straight to their PC, tablet or mobile phone.
Journalism comes at a price and because that price is not being paid in today’s rapidly changing media world, most publishers - national and local - struggle financially despite very healthy audience figures.
Most online publishers have started charging for access to their websites, others have chosen a different route. Shetland News currently has over 430 supporters who are all making small voluntary financial contributions. All funds go towards covering our cost and improving the service further.
Your contribution will ensure Shetland News can: -
- Bring you the headlines as they happen;
- Stay editorially independent;
- Give a voice to the community;
- Grow site traffic further;
- Research and publish more in-depth news, including more Shetland Lives features.
If you appreciate what we do and feel strongly about impartial local journalism, then please become a supporter of Shetland News by either making a single payment or monthly subscription.
Support us from as little as £3 per month – it only takes a minute to sign up. Thank you.Support Shetland News