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

20/10/2017
Review of Debt advice and related services
The Council has a legal duty to provide certain advice and information services on debt, welfare and housing for local residents.  Employment rights advice is also provided but there is no statutory duty on the Council to provide this.  
19/10/2017
Closing the attainment gap in Highland
Highland Council is fully supportive of the aim to close the poverty-related educational attainment gap between children and young people from the least and most disadvantaged communities.  In Highland, 1537 Primary and 1006 Secondary School children live in the most deprived data zones.  
16/10/2017
Council gets tough on unlicensed HMO
Last week, The Highland Council issued rent suspension orders (RSO) in relation to a number of properties being operated as unlicensed houses in multiple occupation (HMO).   The orders, which have been served on the owners and tenants, mean that the tenants are no longer under any obligation to pay rent to their landlord.  
14/10/2017
Council Leader Welcomes Scottish Government's Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund
The Leader of The Highland Council Councillor Margaret Davidson welcomed the First Minister's announcement of a Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to deliver much needed improvements to tourist infrastructure to support the rising numbers of visitors to the Highlands.   This comes the week after figures were published for August which showed Highland visitor attractions were performing 17% higher compared to August last year, a result that is backed by accounts from residents and businesses that the area has been hugely popular with visitors this season.  
14/10/2017
Highland is ready for winter - are you?Thumbnail for article : Highland is ready for winter - are you?
The Highland Council is ready for winter and prepared to grit council roads as the council's winter maintenance programme starts on 14 October.   Trunk roads in Highland are the responsibility of Transport Scotland and their operators Bear Scotland.  
9/10/2017
Trading Standards are looking for Test Purchasers
Trading Standards are looking for young people to take part in test purchasing exercises.  We want to find out which shops are breaking the law by selling age restricted products to young people under 18.  
3/10/2017
Killimster Moss Road OpeningThumbnail for article : Killimster Moss Road Opening
Caithness Civic leader Cllr Willie Mackay (centre) cuts the tape at the opening of the newly refurbished half mile Killimster Moss stretch of the B876 Wick to Thurso road.   Looking on are some of the Highland council workers praised for the project which was done on time and within budget.  
3/10/2017
Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishmentThumbnail for article : Praise for B876 Killimster Moss road refurbishment
Caithness Civic Leader Cllr Willie Mackay has welcomed the reopening of the B876 Killimster Moss Road.   A stretch of the Caithness Wick to Thurso road at Killimster Moss was refurbished over a four week programme of improvement and reopened on Friday 29 September.  
2/10/2017
Consultation on review of Highland polling stations
A chance to have your say.   Voters are being invited to have their say on a review of polling places throughout the Highland Council area The Council has today (Monday 2 October 2017) launched a consultation over its review of election polling districts and polling places.  
30/9/2017
£1 million for school libraries over 3 years
The Scottish Government is allocating £1 million to improve school libraries over the next three years.   Launched today by the Deputy First Minister, the School Library Improvement Fund will be open for education authorities to apply for funding on behalf of school libraries in their area.  

[Printer Friendly Version]