Building for the future

Training and education initiatives have been set up to help owners address the condition of historic buildings in Dalkeith.

As reported in the Advertiser last week, concern has been mounting over the state of ageing chimneys on the High Street. A stack collapsed onto the pavement in January, and subsequent investigations have found other chimneys in a state of disrepair.

The free courses are being offered by Dalkeith Townscape Hertitage Initiative (THI) and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) grant scheme.

As a major part of the scheme is about education and training, an awareness campaign and training plan are in place to assist property owners with advice and guidance as to how to repair and maintain historic buildings in a timely way.

THI project manager Rod Lugg explained: “The centre of Dalkeith is a conservation area with many listed historic buildings which date from the early to mid 19th century. In order to keep these buildings in a good state of repair, timely maintenance and repairs should be carried out using the correct materials and methods. Our programme of information aims to give owners lots of advice and guidance on maintenance.”

The Dalkeith THI/CARS has appointed Edinburgh Telford College to assist with the training plan and a special workshop has been set up at Telford College to help train property owners, contractors, building professionals, students and others interested in old buildings.

The training plan is being delivered so that training takes place in the workshops, with practical experience provided as trainees work on schemes in the centre of Dalkeith.

Donald Marshall, chairman of Dalkeith THI/CARS Project Team, added: “The Dalkeith THI/CARS has two main strands, awarding grants for repair and restoration to eligible buildings in the High Street but also to help educate and train home owners, and those involved in the building trade to gain a better understanding and appreciation of traditional building skills, so that an historic building can be looked after and cared for in the proper way.

“The education and training plan we are developing is key to this and I would encourage all home owners in the High Street to come along to the workshops and seminars that are planned.”