Honours for Midlothian country park

Duncan Mackinson holding the RICS Building Conservation Award for Dalkeith Country Park
Duncan Mackinson holding the RICS Building Conservation Award for Dalkeith Country Park

It scooped the ‘Regeneration and Conservation Award’ at this year’s Edinburgh Architectural Association (EAA) Awards and the ‘Building Conservation Award’ at RICS Awards, Scotland.

The Park is now in the running to receive the ‘Building Conservation Award’ at RICS Awards national finals in November.

The award from the EAA recognises buildings which have been sensitively and effectively restored. The Park won the accolade in recognition of its £7 million redevelopment which saw its 17th century Category A listed stableyard transformed into the luxury retail and leisure destination, Restoration Yard.

The partially derelict building underwent extensive repairs and structural alterations which incorporated original architectural features with contemporary extensions with floor-to-ceiling windows providing views across the Park.

The works also included the creation of Fort Douglas playground; the preservation and partial restoration of Orangery which was designed in 1829; and upgrades to the walking and cycling routes.

Dalkeith Country Park beat stiff competition from Dalkeith Corn Exchange and the Botanic Cottage in the Royal Botanic Gardens to win the prestigious prize, presented at a ceremony in the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation.

The RICS award came hot on its heels with more than 35 of Scotland’s most impressive and community beneficial property schemes shortlisted and the winners announced at a ceremony in the city’s Sheraton Hotel.

Duncan Mackison, chief operations officer at Dalkeith Country Park, said: “We are immensely proud to receive recognition for our work regenerating Dalkeith Country Park. This was years in the making with help from Malcolm Fraser Architects and Blue Forest, who designed Fort Douglas.

“It has been fantastic to see such an overwhelmingly positive response from visitors following the regeneration work, which took place last summer, and we’re continuing to look at ways to improve the Park’s offering whilst still retaining its character and history.

“Visitors to Restoration Yard will spot lots of historic artefacts and original features of the stableyard including markings on a ceiling beam dating back to the 1700s original stonework, and the stable’s horse stalls and feeding troughs.”

In addition to the two conservation award wins, the Park received was also ‘highly commended’ in the RICS Awards’ tourism and leisure category.