Dunoon and Campbeltown projects win big at Heritage Angel Awards

Two heritage projects from Argyll and Bute are toasting success as the winners of the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2018 were revealed.

Scooping the awards for Best Rescue of a Historic Building or Place (under £2m and over £2m respectively) were the project to rescue Dunoon Burgh Halls, which reopened in June 2017 as a community arts hub following major refurbishment, and Campbeltown Community Business Ltd, who led the project to restore the category A listed Campbeltown Picture House.

Hosted by broadcaster and writer Sally Magnusson at the City Chambers in Glasgow, the ceremony saw winning projects in each of the five award categories crowned in a celebration of the groups, individuals, volunteers and professionals who have played a special part in caring for the nation’s historic environment.

Dunoon Burgh Hall has been at the heart of the community since it was funded and built in 1874 by the town’s people. Falling into disrepair, it closed for 25 years until 2009 when it was rescued, reopened and work began to plan its ultimate restoration into a much-needed arts-led venue and destination.

Jenny Hunter of the Dunoon Burgh Hall Trust said: “The Dunoon Burgh Hall Project loosely defines everyone who has contributed to the rescue of the Burgh Hall. It includes the many volunteers who have picked up the mantle over the past 25 years in many guises; heritage organisations who have fought for the status of the burgh Hall; artists, filmmakers, musicians and designers who contribute to the creative programme; to the staff who have worked hard to make a success of the project; and to the board members. This is a grassroots project, underpinned in every way by the local community who have dedicated their time to restoring the building to its former glory as an arts and cultural hub.

“Being nominated for a Heritage Angel award means a great deal to the Dunoon Burgh Hall Project.  It gives everyone involved wider recognition of their hard work over many years, and also gives the project impetus to continue the good work into the future.”

Campbeltown Picture House was built in 1913 and has continued as a cinema ever since. In 1987 Campbeltown Community Business took over ownership and operation of the venue which, by this time, was clearly in need of restoration and upgrading to suit a modern audience.

Ron Inglis, Project Manager at Campbeltown Community Business Ltd, said: “The Picture House is Kintyre’s cultural and entertainment hub, a building the town is immensely proud of and a vibrant part of local life. So it is wonderful for the Campbeltown community to have the Picture House shortlisted for the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards 2018. The town has benefitted from several regeneration projects over the past decade but the Picture House is arguably the most prominent and being shortlisted for a prestigious award recognises the tremendous efforts to give the cinema new life.”

Launched in 2014 and funded by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation (ALWF), and run by the Scottish Civic Trust in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Archaeology Scotland, the Scottish Heritage Angel Awards seek to celebrate both groups and individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to promote, protect and, in many cases, rescue Scotland’s heritage.

Susan O’Connor, Director of the Scottish Civic Trust, said: “This year’s Heritage Angel Awards have offered us the opportunity to recognise a fantastic range of heritage projects from all across the country.

“In their comments, the judges commended the innovation, perseverance, dedication and vision of those involved in these projects, and they all deserve huge praise for their achievements.

“I’d like to again congratulate all of this year’s shortlisted projects, and in particular our worthy winners.”


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