Building Briefs – January 11th

  • Critical canal repairs to commence

Critical repairs on the Caledonian and Union Canals will commence next week.

Scottish Government funding, including an additional allocation of £5.35 million, was made available to Scottish Canals in November 2018.

The lock gates at Kytra and Fort Augustus on the Caledonian Canal are to be replaced.

Transport Scotland is making the investment to allow Scottish Canals to maintain these historic assets as well as assist projects which improve the experience for users and support income generation for reinvestment in the canals.


  • Grant to transform landscape of former mining communities

A Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of nearly £200k is to help transform the landscape in East Ayrshire’s former mining communities.

The money, to be administered by East Ayrshire Coalfield Communities Landscape Partnership, will enable communities within the area to develop projects aimed at providing opportunities in leisure, tourism, skills and training, re-connecting them with the surrounding landscape and finding new uses for former open cast mining sites.

In the first step of a two stage process the Coal Communities Landscape Partnership (CCLP) have issued a ‘Call for Projects’ asking anyone interested to submit their ideas for improvements to the landscape in the designated area by 28 February 2019.

The initial funding is being used to support the call for projects, with ideas being invited from local organisations and community groups. These will be assessed alongside ideas already identified by specific development studies.

Those project proposals which best meet a strict set of four criteria will then be chosen to submit more detailed plans by the end of August 2019. Successful projects will receive match funding of a minimum of 47% of the cost of projects in a second round of bidding to the Heritage Lottery Fund.


  • Revised Hoy wind farm proposal presented

Amended plans for a potential Orkney Islands Council-owned wind farm in Hoy have been presented to the local community.

The current proposal is to erect seven turbines compared to the 30 presented in the original plans. The turbines have also been made taller, moved further away from local homes and have been focused towards the north of the site.

The potential output of the new layout would be in the region of 28MW.

The plans have been amended following consideration of the site’s proximity to the national scenic area and residential properties, bird sensitivities and the location of communication masts in the area.

It was announced in April that the council planned to undertake a detailed investigation to see if land to the west of Lyness would be suitable for a substantial wind energy development.

A drop-in session took place in the North Walls Centre community room this week with staff from the council’s Strategic Projects team and local elected members, on hand to discuss the plans in more detail and answer any queries local people may have.

The site the council has been looking at lies at and to the south of Wee Fea, the hill behind Lyness which contains underground wartime oil tanks.


  • Penicuik High Street improvement works continue

Penicuik High Street improvement work, which began in October last week, have recommenced following a festive break.

Part of the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project, the current work involves pavement improvements at the top end of Bridge Street and is being carried out by NRS Building and Civil Engineering Solutions.

The contractor’s compound has also been moved away from the High Street to minimise disruption to traders. The South Kirk Church in West Street has agreed to accommodate the compound in their rear car park area.

Once the improvements at the top of Bridge Street are complete, the contractor will move into the High Street to widen the pavements on the south side of the road. These will be repaved in natural yorkstone paving flags, along with granite setts in the service and car park layby areas near the Town Hall.

The final phase of the work will be the resurfacing of the High Street road, outside the Town Hall. The improvement scheme is expected to be complete by mid March.

The Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project is a partnership between Midlothian Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, the Penicuik Community Development Trust, Penicuik First (BIDS) and Penicuik Community Council. It will see a five-year programme of investment in the historic core of the town centre.