Stirling Engine Shed receives green light with final funding bid

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has awarded Historic Scotland a £3.8 million grant to create Scotland’s first building conservation centre at The Engine Shed in Stirling.

The successful HLF bid completes the funding jigsaw for the £8.9m project to go ahead, adding to funding which has already been secured from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Scottish Government’s Young Scots Fund.

Confirmation of the funding follows on from full planning permission having been granted by Stirling Council. The Engine Shed will see the transformation of a derelict building into a world-leading education centre for building conservation in Scotland, creating and delivering educational resources and training on traditional buildings and materials.

As well as providing a centre of excellence for those already operating in the sector, it will also provide the opportunity for the sharing of knowledge and expertise through the creation of a ‘knowledge hub’ with events, exhibitions and activities for the general public.

The Engine Shed - Interior

Cabinet secretary for culture, Europe and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “This announcement marks a significant milestone within The Engine Shed project, and signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Scotland’s heritage sector.

“Developing skills for the future is a key focus and I’m pleased that the HLF and Stirling Council share our vision to establish a world-class facility at The Engine Shed – helping to preserve and protect our nation’s historic environment for future generations.

“The new centre will showcase cutting edge conservation technology, science and innovation practices as well as providing a central hub to help foster a creative and inspiring space for local residents and visitors from across the country to engage with conservation through activities, exhibitions and events.”

David Mitchell, director of conservation at Historic Scotland, said: “These achievements mark the next key step for the project and will enable work to start on-site from April 2015.

“This is an exciting time for the sector with The Engine Shed set to become a leading hub for building conservation nationally and internationally. We want to celebrate traditional materials and skills that built them whilst raising technical standards. Our approach is to create a strong network of building conservation training and educators, and showcase our traditions and their future relevance.”

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “From castles and follies to the buildings that are part of our everyday lives, Scotland has a rich built heritage which requires specialist skills and knowledge to keep it from falling into neglect. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to support a project which is visionary in its approach to tackling this issue. The Engine Shed will be a beacon for Scotland’s old buildings encouraging and training specialists and amateurs to care for them so that they are kept safe for future generations.”

Stirling Council leader, Johanna Boyd, added: “Stirling is a modern and vibrant city with so much to offer, and the creation of The Engine Shed will add a fantastic new asset to our existing cultural, architectural and educational gems. The Engine Shed will not only benefit the city and people of Stirling, but industry experts and professionals, those wanting to expand their existing skill base and anyone with the creativity and passion to further expand their horizons. I cannot wait to see this innovative, inspiring and buzzing venture come to fruition.”

The Engine Shed is due to open in summer 2016.

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