Stornoway Townscape Heritage Initiative - Iomairt Dualchas Dealbh-baile Steornabhaigh

Stornoway Harbour

A major part of restoring the character of the Town Hall was achieved by reinstating fourteen original rooflights to provide natural lighting to the interior

Making a difference

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for heritage

  • As a result of undertaking a range of projects, including repairing and restoring the original details of 23 historic buildings, removing inappropriate features such as PVC windows, and improving the public realm, the townscape is now in better condition.
  • The historic townscape will be better managed by using examples of what has been achieved to help set standards for on-going work, and ensuring that future developments respect the conservation area and the historic environment.
  • The local authority and the port authority are thinking together about further regeneration proposals to complement the THI area and other local heritage assets.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for people

  • An interpretation project at Lews Castle not only improved the appearance of the front of the castle but also helped people to learn about its history as well, providing a way to explain future proposals and how they linked in with the THI.
  • Local young people gained skills in traditional building construction including the use of lime mortar, the construction of sash and case windows and the creation of decorative plasterwork. This will help ensure that the heritage is better looked after In the future.
  • Local schools, businesses and community groups learnt about the importance of Stornoway’s built heritage through a series of events, talks and lectures. As a result, there is an improved awareness of the historical value of Stornoway’s outstanding conservation area.

How the project achieved HLF’s outcomes for communities

  • As a result of the scheme, the harbour area of the town is now a vibrant and more attractive area for people to live, work in and visit.
  • Repair works and works to bring vacant floor space back into use at the Town Hall have helped create flexible space for a range of uses by the council as well as businesses and provided an improved venue for cultural activities.

Lessons learned

  • It is important to ensure a co-ordinated approach to the project so that all agencies are working towards a unified outcome. In Stornoway, the council coordinated the project through a group which represented all the main organisations in the town.
  • Projects take a lot of negotiation before they can move forward. Bringing all the key players together at an early stage can save numerous renegotiations further down the line.
  • Projects can come and go over the lifetime of a THI scheme as circumstances change. It is important to maintain an overview of the townscape impact of the various projects to keep the scheme focused and as balanced as possible.
  • It is important to develop a strong local network and profile. 
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