Pilkington Buildings in Penicuik awarded historic building grant

Friday August 7th 2020

Pilkington Buildings

The Pilkington Buildings in Penicuik.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

As part of the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project, a historic building grant of £330,079 has been awarded to properties in the town centre forming what is known as the Pilkington Buildings.

The Pilkington Buildings are Grade A listed for their historic and architectural importance but are in need of repair. As such, they are a high priority for improvement as part of the Penicuik regeneration project. The roof, chimneys, dormer windows, guttering and downpipes all need repair and restoration, as well as the stonework and traditional timber windows and doors.

Nine owners applied for funding to help with the total cost of the work, which is £440,105. A grant of 75% has been awarded, amounting to £330,079. This will be split between the property owners in proportion to the amount of work required for each property.

The Victorian architect FT Pilkington designed and built the distinctive properties in 1860, described by architectural historians as “rogue gothic” tenements with a distinctive corner oriel. They are arranged in 4 blocks around a courtyard and were built for single female workers in the Penicuik paper mill owned by Charles Cowan.

Due to the current Covid-19 crisis, the restoration work has been delayed but will now start on 17 August and will take around 6 months to complete.

Councillor Russell Imrie, Midlothian Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and the Economy said:

“This is great news, as these historic buildings form an important part of Penicuik’s unique history and heritage related to the paper making industry. At this time of anxiety, and with the effect the virus outbreak has had on the economy, it is good to have positive news about a scheme that will improve Penicuik’s town centre. Once the repair and restoration work starts, the project will support the construction industry and help bring back economic activity to the area.”

The Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project is a 5-year scheme aimed at regenerating the historic centre of Penicuik through historic building grants, improvements to streets and public spaces and an extensive community education, training and engagement programme.

The project is funded by the National Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Midlothian Council and supported by the Penicuik Community Development Trust, Penicuik First and Penicuik and District Community Council.

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