Extensive work at Stranraer Museum has been successfully carried out over recent months as part of strategic investment in the town’s Conservation Area.
The scope of work in progress extends from the weathervane on top of the clocktower spire right down to the drainage system below the building. Roof work has included re-slating, renewal of leadwork and replacement of cast iron gutters and downpipes. Comprehensive masonry repairs are being carried out by specialist stonemasons incorporating structural reinforcement while maintaining a traditional finish to the visible face of the stonework. Windows are being refurbished and render finishes removed or repaired over the whole of the building.
The scale of work the Museum requires, along with the limited availability of some of the materials needed, means that work on the exterior is now scheduled for completion by mid-October. This will require the continuation of existing traffic and pedestrian management arrangements around the building.
Protection of the public and the workforce are of paramount importance and the scaffold and site compound arrangements have been designed to meet these important safety needs. The investment being made in the building will ensure it continues to be an asset to the people of Stranraer long into the future. The extension of the Museum works makes it likely that there will be an overlap with the start of works on the redevelopment of the neighbouring former George Hotel. The George project will require its own site protection and further traffic and pedestrian management arrangements to be in place.
Further to recent tendering of CARS repair schemes for Gillespie’s bakery in King Street and the Arches in Hanover Street, the owners of each property have appointed WH Kirkwood Ltd to carry out the construction work required. Improvement of these key buildings will enhance the quality of the town centre and protect the distinctive character of the Conservation Area. Work at Gillespie’s will include comprehensive repairs to the building façade on King Street while the historic Arches shopfront will be reinstated.
Gillespie’s bakery is considered one of the best examples of a traditional bakery in Scotland and is a Category A Listed Building in recognition of this. Work at Gillespie’s is expected to start in late August while there will be a slightly longer lead-in time to work at the Arches while components of the replacement shopfront are manufactured off-site. Scaffold arrangements at each of these properties is expected to have minimal impact on traffic and pedestrian movement.
Councillor Ian Carruthers, Chair of the Council’s Economy and Resources Committee said, “Investment in Stranraer’s historic buildings ensures the high quality of Stranraer’s built environment is maintained for the benefit of the local community, businesses and visitors to the town. The work complements the many other initiatives currently underway in the town centre and on the waterfront as part of the drive to reposition Stranraer as a prime marine leisure tourism destination.”
Councillor David Inglis, Vice Chair of the Council’s E&R Committee added, “Facilities like Stranraer Museum provide a valuable education service for the local community and are a key part of the diverse range of activities a successful tourist destination needs to offer. Protecting heritage features such as Gillespie’s bakery and the Arches shopfront maintains the unique character of the town centre and helps make Stranraer a desirable place to live, work and visit.”
Stranraer CARS is enabled by funding from Historic Environment Scotland and Dumfries and Galloway Council.