Council’s Campbeltown restoration project triumphs in national empty homes awards

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Published Date: 

24 May 2017 - 16:30

An Argyll and Bute Council project to save a semi-derelict and vacant tenement building in Campbeltown town centre from demolition and bring it back to life, has won two awards in the National Empty Homes Awards 2017.

The restoration of 50/52 Main Street and 2 Cross Street, part of the wider Townscape Heritage Initiative which has breathed new life into the Kintyre town, has won the Best Before and After Photos in the prestigious national competition.

The project was also commended in the innovation category – which recognises creative and original projects demonstrating value in helping bring long-term empty homes back into use.

Fergus Murray, Argyll and Bute Council’s Head of Economic Development, said:

“A lot of hard work has gone into this project and it is pleasing to see our officers as well as our partners Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and MacLeod Construction Ltd being recognised at such a prestigious national event.

“As a council, we are focussed on boosting the local economy, creating jobs and attracting people to live and work in Argyll and Bute. This project has been a great success and absolutely complements the developments in Campbeltown town centre.”

David Gibbens, Policy Lead for the Empty Homes Network, added:

“This was clearly a challenging and complex project. It needed an innovative approach with several partners to bring back into use a building which had been empty for many years and with the complexity of mixed uses. There are so many benefits to the community once its potential had been unlocked. By documenting both the challenge and the successful outcome, the before-and-after photos tell a compelling story which will be an inspiration to others faced by similar problems up and down the country.”

Two commercial units and four flats of the 18th century category B listed building occupying a key site on the Main Street are now fully occupied with a nail and beauty business now operating from the building.

The awards are organised by the Empty Homes Network, which supports organisations involved in addressing the issue of empty homes, and will be presented at the National Empty Homes conference on 24 May 2017. The project also won the Outstanding Project at the Scottish Empty Homes Conference last year.