Traditional skills to the fore as Nairn Courthouse restoration works complete

Restoration works are now complete at the Category B listed Nairn Courthouse.

Traditional skills to the fore as Nairn Courthouse restoration works complete

The contract for the removal and replacement of the existing viewing tower was awarded by Highland Council to Laing Traditional Masonry Group (LTM Group) and works began in March 2019.

Once on-site, further works to the original stonework were identified that required to be undertaken to ensure the safety and integrity of the building.

In addition to these works, the opportunity has been taken to refurbish the clock mechanism, and introduce external lighting to enhance the outside of the building. Repairs to the original ‘Mercat Cross’ at the front of the building have also been undertaken by an experienced stone conservator and enhances the entrance area to the Courthouse.

Existing flagpoles were removed from the upper parapet, as their movement affected the stability of existing stonework. These have been relocated to the front of the building.

Despite works having to follow a period of lockdown due to COVID-19, the LTM Group remobilised mid-June and made safe progress, as permitted. The works completed should see the building enhance the High Street for many years to come.

The works have been project-managed by the council’s property service. The project has been progressed with assistance from LDN Architects, Fairhurst Engineers, McLeod & Aitken and Safehands Health & Safety Consultants Ltd. The external lighting has been designed by Rybka, Inverness.

Councillor Tom Heggie said: “This is a very professional piece of work by all concerned. I am particularly pleased that we have been able to refurbish the external fabric, the clock mechanism and installed an external lighting system which will enhance the appearance of the building at night-time. Our project manager, Laura Burns, has worked closely with all contractors and enabled the project to be completed successfully.”

Steven Laing, MD of LTM Group, added: “LTM is honoured to have been involved as principal contractor in such an exciting project. Both the contractor and project team have worked collaboratively together to ensure this prestigious landmark has been restored to the highest quality using traditional materials and repair methods.

“Now that the scaffolding is down, the new lighting scheme only enhances the level of detailing and beauty the building exhibits and we hope this national treasure can be enjoyed for years to come.”

Finlay MacDonald, head of property and FM for the Highland Council, said: “Restoring a key heritage building in the town centre to its former glory is an excellent outcome for the local community. The complete project team have been clearly focused on getting the detail right with excellent craftmanship being demonstrated by the LTM Group. I am pleased that we still have the traditional skills in the Highlands to carry out such prestigious work.”

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