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Issued : 10th June 2004

Arbroath Abbey to Harbour Townscape Heritage Initiative

Arbroath Abbey to Harbour Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is reporting the successful completion of some repair and restoration projects in the town.

The THI's aim is to conserve and enhance the outstanding conservation area between the abbey and the harbour and it administers a grant scheme for the repair and restoration of key historic buildings and sites.

The Rigg boundary wall at Ladybridge Street Car Park (behind Webster Theatre) is one of the recent projects to be completed, having secured a grant of £15,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund and European Regional Development Fund through the THI. The stonework was repaired and the wall to the south of the car park rebuilt. New coping stones have been installed and lime mortar was used in the repointing.

External stonework repairs have also been carried out at the Cafe Project, with lime mortar once again replacing the cement mortar in the repointing. This extensive project attracted a grant of £54,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund, European Regional Development Fund and Historic Scotland.

Current projects include the southern boatyard wall at Mackay Boat Builders. This project will see the removal of the existing cement render, stone repairs, lime mortar repointing and the installation of new gates at the premises.

Environmental repairs to the Brothock Burn from Ladybridge to Danger Point are also being carried out. Once again the cement mortar and render will be removed and repointing will be done with traditional lime mortar. Lime wash will be used in painting and a new pebble reinforced cement base poured. Stonework repairs including the repair and renewal of the stone copes are planned and natural flagstones are also to be installed.

The eligibility for High Street Improvement Grants has now been extended to include historic buildings in the whole of the High Street and Kirk Square. Buildings have been assessed into three priority classes with Priority 1 applications being accepted immediately, Priority 2 applications marked for acceptance after 1 October 2004 and Priority 3 applications after 1 December 2004.

Two further improvement grant schemes have now been introduced, extending the assistance available for property repairs and restoration. The THI has made available £20,000 for grants for eligible improvement work in the Marketgate and Ladybridge Street of up to 90% of the project costs including professional fees.

The second of the new schemes is for Abbey Street, where £65,000 has been set aside for grant awards up to 80% of project costs for eligible work.

The area around Arbroath Abbey has been designated a conservation area by Angus Council and awarded outstanding status by Historic Scotland. However visitors arriving at the West Abbey Street Car Park have to walk past unattractive rear elevations before reaching the Abbey Arch and over time properties have lost their original back gates, boundary walls are crumbling and failing cement render covers the original red sandstone walls. The new improvement scheme can offer grant aid for the repair or appropriate replacement of gates and doors, the reinstatement of traditional timber sash windows, roof repairs, replacement of cement based or failing render and harl with traditional lime harl and lime wash will also be encouraged, and the reinstatement of unusual features or materials special to particular buildings might also be considered for support.

Application packs for each of the improvement grants are available from Torsten Haak at the Business Gateway, 61 Marketgate Arbroath DD11, T: (01241) 870563 and property owners are reminded that the deadline for all applications is 31 July 2005.