Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Paying too much for broadband? Move to PlusNet broadband and save£££s. Free setup now available - terms apply. PlusNet broadband.  

 

Restored Thurso building to throw open its doors

11th July 2016

Photo Gallery

Photograph of Restored Thurso building to throw open its doors

The Highland Council is to throw open the doors of 30 Princes Street on the corner with St John Square in Thurso on Saturday 16th July 2016 to give members of the public, councillors and community councillors the chance to see how it has restored and brought back into use this iconic Category B listed building which sits a prime position within the conservation area of the town.

Originally constructed in the early 1800s, over a period of time, lack of maintenance led to the demolition of the chimney head and the rear stair tower. The building became an eyesore and in order to save it, The Highland Council acquired the building by Compulsory Purchase.

Renovation works started in May last year and now the property has been transformed into three, one bedroom flats. During the works, where possible, the original features of the building were repaired and preserved. These include repairs to sash and case windows, the original timber doors, skirtings and facings, the ornate plaster cornices and the original roofing slates had been removed are now replaced. Stone repairs have included rebuilding the original window openings at the shopfront and rebuilding the gable chimneyhead. The external walls have been lime rendered in keeping with how the building would have been rendered from early in its history.

This intervention by the Council has saved the building for the foreseeable future and it will now provide useful accommodation in the centre of the town.

Leader of the Caithness Committee, Councillor Roger Saxon said: "This building has been a cause celebre with the Thurso community because of its prominent position at the corner of Sir John's Square and Princes Street, the town's square. It's kept the local paper's columns and letters pages filled for over a decade.

"After years of legal argument, a compulsory purchase order and a public local enquiry, the council gained control of the property. Along the way, the council had to act to make the building safe and preserve its structure. This was a long and frustrating process for all concerned but we persevered. There were even calls for it to be demolished, but as we saw with the Miller library building, Thurso is proud of its built heritage and will work hard to preserve our important buildings for future generations. We congratulate the many council officials involved in planning, conservation, legal etc, also Historic Scotland for their work and advice.

So now we have a restored, 200 year old B-listed building which will shortly be occupied - it's already on the councils ‘choice-based lettings' web page at a very reasonable rent. This will provide three much needed flats in central Thurso.

"We very much hope the public will come along to see how the building has been sensitively restored to use."

The main contractors for the works have been the Laing Traditional Masonry Group Ltd who specialise in works to historic buildings and O'Brien Construction.

The open day takes place on Saturday from 10.00am to 1.00pm on Saturday 16th July 2016 and anyone is welcome to come along.

History of the property:

30 Princes Street is a Category B Listed Building within the Conservation Area of Thurso. It occupies a key position in the planned town grid of the early nineteenth century new town.

It was constructed in the early 1800s and along with a similar building at No.26, they provide a strong frame to Sir John’s Square.

In the order to accommodate two families, a rear stair tower was constructed around the late 1880s.

In the late 1930s, a shopfront was created in Sir John’s Square and the shop was used as an optician and electrical retailer and later a drapers and fish shop.

In the late 1990s, 30 Princes Street was converted into bed-sit accommodation and lack of maintenance caused it to fall into disrepair.

See the photo gallery link to see what it looked like in January 2013.
By that time the council had put on a temporary roof covering and made the building safe as walls were bulging.

 

Related Businesses

 

Related Articles

13/3/2017
Highland Council 2017 Election CalledThumbnail for article : Highland Council 2017 Election Called
The 2017 Highland Council election has been officially called today (Monday 13 March) with the Returning Officer seeking nominations from candidates wishing to stand in the local government elections which take place on Thursday 4 May.   A total of 74 Councillors will be appointed to represent the Council in 21 electoral wards, each with three or four elected members.  
10/3/2017
Wipro staff to be based in city centre officeThumbnail for article : Wipro staff to be based in city centre office
Wipro has opened a new delivery centre in Inverness as part of our growth plan and service delivery for the Highland Council.   40 to 50 staff will be based at Moray House in the city centre.  
10/3/2017
Council agrees Redesign Board recommendations
The Highland Council has agreed all the recommendations made by the Redesign Board.   The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.  
10/3/2017
Extra £1million capital for Highland roads
On Thursday 9th March, the Council approved £1million additional capital monies to be spent on Highland roads.   The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046m for 2017/18 and members have agreed to allocate £1million of this to roads.  
10/3/2017
Highland Council funding to CAB Projects
The Highland Council has agreed to extend funding to two CAB projects of up to £50,000.   The Mental Health and Midwifery projects provide money and welfare advice to pregnant mums and those experiencing mental ill health.  
6/3/2017
New West Link Bridge Spans The River In InvernessThumbnail for article : New West Link Bridge Spans The River In Inverness
The first of the central beams to connect the north and south side of the West Link bridge, Inverness were put in place today, 6 March 2017.   The centre span beams are 70m in length and weight 70 tonnes each.  
6/3/2017
Top national award for Highland Council's energy project
The Highland Council has won a national award for a project aimed at cutting the cost of heating Highland homes.   The Scottish Energy Efficiency and Health Homes Award, presented during an award ceremony held in Glasgow, recognised the Council's work to assist with reducing energy use in Highland homes through the Home Energy Efficiency Programme for Scotland - Area Based Scheme (HEEPS-ABS) and the particular drive to identify and assist homes that are in fuel poverty or vulnerable to the cost of energy.  
6/3/2017
Council To Consider Spending An Extra £1million Capital On Roads
A paper going to the Council meeting on 9 March will propose a £1 million spend of additional capital monies on roads infrastructure.   The Scottish Government, announced on 2 February 2017, an additional Capital Grant for Highland Council of £2.046 million for 2017/18 and a paper to council will ask members to consider whether to allocate £1 million of this to roads.  
5/3/2017
Redesign Board Makes Recommendations On The Redesign Of The Council
The Redesign Board met on 28 February to agree its recommendations on the redesign of the Council.   The Board proposes a significant shift to localism.  
5/3/2017
'emojional' Addition To Council Website
People looking for shortcuts to their most used pages on Highland Council's website via their Smart phones can now use Emoji to take them there faster.   Used in electronic messages and web pages, Emoji are used much like Emoticons and exist in various symbols including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals.  

[Printer Friendly Version]