The rescue of a historic picture house in Campbeltown, restoration of an early 20th century Japanese Garden at Cowden and a project to promote archaeology in Caithness are among the finalists for the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2018.
Showcasing a range of diverse heritage projects across the country, other nominees include a group of pupils from Arbroath Academy who worked to create a heritage trail for the local area, and Nick Wilson, an apprentice stonemason who carved a memorial stone to commemorate industrial workers who had lost their lives.
Launched in 2014 and funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation (ALWF), and run by the Scottish Civic Trust in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Archaeology Scotland, the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards celebrates both groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote, protect and, in many cases, rescue Scotland’s heritage.
This year the awards ceremony will take place in Glasgow for the first time, with the eventual winners to be crowned at Glasgow City Chambers on Monday, 22 October.
Susan O’Connor, director of the Scottish Civic Trust, said: ‘I’d like to thank everyone who took time to submit a nomination for this year’s Scottish Heritage Angel Awards. It’s an annual highlight for us here – there’s nothing we enjoy more than finding out what people having been achieving in heritage in the past year.
‘It really is inspiring to see such a diverse range of projects from all over Scotland come forward, I’m delighted we have this opportunity to recognise the passion, dedication and sheer hard-work invested by individuals and communities who work tirelessly to protect and promote our history and heritage.’
The panel of judges who will determine the winners includes representatives from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Young Scot, joined by a variety of well-seasoned experts in the heritage field.
Alex Paterson, chief executive of Historic Environment Scotland, said: ‘I’d like to extend congratulations to all the finalists for this year’s Scottish Heritage Angel Awards.
‘The historic environment has a vital role to play in communities up and down the country, from helping to revitalise local areas through the reuse of historic buildings, to supporting and developing traditional crafts and skills. This shortlist reflects the valuable work being undertaken all over the country to care for our historic environment, often by groups and individuals who volunteer their time. During this Year of Young People, it is particularly heartening to see so many young people involved in heritage projects.
‘I look forward to discovering more about these projects and celebrating their success at the awards ceremony in October.’
The shortlist is –
Category A: Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place (for projects under £2m).
Dunoon Burgh Hall Project – for the rescue of Dunoon Burgh Halls. Following major refurbishment, the category B listed building re-opened in June 2017 as a community arts hub.
Lady Catherine Erskine of the Cambo Heritage Trust – for the project to revive the category B listed Stables building at Cambo House. The building is now a community hub hosting a range of events and learning workshops for visitors to the site.
The Japanese Garden at Cowden Castle – led by Sara Stewart, this project has seen the Japanese-style garden of national importance brought back to life through the efforts of a committed groups of individuals.
Category B: Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place (for projects over £2m).
Campbeltown Community Business Ltd – for the restoration project of the category A listed Campbeltown Picture House. The project has seen the historic cinema’s Art Noveau façade restored alongside upgraded state-of-the-art visitor facilities, as well as a programme of heritage activities hosted at the site.
Falkirk Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) – comprising a steering group of different partner organisations, the Falkirk THI has helped regenerate the area’s town centre, delivering grant-funding to 80 individual properties, restoring or improving 15 shopfronts and bringing eight empty units back in to use.
Glasgow Building Preservation Trust – for the project to rescue and repurpose the significant category B listed former Parkhead School building. The site has been brought back in to use as office and community space, while community engagement activities have increased awareness of the building’s history and heritage in the local area.
Category C: Best Contribution to a Heritage Project by a Young Person.
The 1,2 History Crew at Arbroath Academy – this group of S1 and S2 pupils researched the history of their local area to create the Arbroath Abbey Trail, which will help other young people learn about the rich heritage of Arbroath.
Donald McDougall – the Museum Manager at Dunollie Castle in Oban, Donald has volunteered time to transcribe letters and documents from the Castle’s archives and created an exhibition at the site which explores childhood in Oban in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Nick Wilson – an apprentice while carrying out his project, now employed as a stonemason at Stirling Monument Conservation, Nick carved a memorial stone to commemorate industrial workers who had lost their lives and to promote health and safety in the workplace for International Workers’ Day.
Category D: Best Craftsmanship or Apprentice on a Heritage Rescue or Repair Project.
Graham Campbell and Alan Cormie – for their work to develop Elgin Conservation Training Centre into a nationally recognised centre of excellence. Graham and Alan have tutored dozens of apprentice stonemason across Scotland, UK and the rest of world, and have helped the Centre at Elgin win the accolade of best UK college from British Skill Build two years in a row.
Category E: Best Heritage Research, Interpretation or Recording
Anna Welti and the Wedigs Community Archaeology Project – this project has investigated hut circle sites in Wester Ross, running archaeological excavations with local schoolchildren and volunteers. The project has helped inspire the local community to gain new skills and learn more about the history of the local area.
The Kirkmichael Trust – for the rescue and display of ornate medieval stone crosses of Kirkmichael and nearby Cullicudden. The Trust worked to conserve the stones to enable them to be exhibited, saving a priceless piece of local heritage for the community.
The Caithness Broch Project – for their ‘Year of the Broch’ campaign, which has promoted the archaeology and brochs of Caithness. The project has encompassed a range of diverse activities, from archaeological investigations and excavations to the installation of interpretation panels at three brochs in the local area – and even the creation of a LEGO broch which has helped engage a younger audience with the history of the area.
The Scottish Heritage Angel Awards run parallel to Heritage Angel Awards in England, Northern Ireland and Wales. The ceremony in London in November will see an overall winner selected from the four award schemes.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, whose charitable foundation helped establish the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards, said: ‘The Angel Awards shine a light on the special individuals and groups who tackle difficult historic buildings and sites at risk and inspire others to get involved.
‘I applaud everyone who enters the Angel Awards and showcases the marvellous work they are doing to rescue and sustain our heritage.’