End in sight for Brechin’s Townscape Heritage Initiative

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Work on the Brechin Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) is nearing completion, with only a small number of projects needing completion - including the enhancement of the seating area at the Mechanics Institute.

The work, which started on May 7, will include replacing the current concrete steps with recycled stone steps, resurfacing the area with high quality Caithness paving, reinstating the cast iron railings to the original design, improving the disabled access to the seating areas and creating two plant beds edged with recycled granite setts.

Scaffolding has now been struck at all the building projects on the High Street except at 45-47 High Street where work is progressing well and scaffolding is due to be removed in the next couple of weeks on completion of the stonework.

Stone work repairs have been more extensive than originally anticipated.

Window margins had been repaired with cement and on insertion of the new timber sash and case windows the cement was found to be detaching from the stone so that very little of the original stonework survived to the window sills, lintols and surrounds.

Second hand steps were sourced to provide stone for the indents, providing an excellent match both geologically and visually.

Outstanding work includes the restoration of one of the shop fronts and the insertion of a new shop front. Work to the interior of the building will include the restoration of the timber panelling to the two 18th century front rooms on the first floor. Once work is finished the property will provide two retail units and a two bedroom first floor flat.

Restoration of the Merchant’s House was completed in February and the building is now split into two townhouses, both of which have now been let.

The ochre coloured lime render to the upper storeys of the building and the refurbishment of this building has had a very positive effect on this part of the High Street.

Most of the original features of the interior of the building were left intact, including the original fireplaces, salt boxes, shutters and cornices.

Historic oak timber roof trusses were carefully repaired and have been left exposed in the upper floors of the two townhouses.

Building work at 29-31 High Street was completed in early March and now provides a large ground floor retail unit and 3 flats to the upper floor.

The owners of the building are currently fitting out the flats with kitchens and bathrooms (which were not eligible for grant).

There are three cottages to the rear of the property which are being refurbished by the owner, independent of the grant scheme.

Work has now been completed at the Northern Hotel.