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Inverness temperance hall secures Heritage Lottery cash

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October 11 2013

Inverness temperance hall secures Heritage Lottery cash
A C listed former temperance hall in Inverness, currently on the Buildings at Risk register, has secured a first-round pass for a grant of £706,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The cash will go toward the refurbishment of Merkinch Welfare Hall, Inverness, into an amateur boxing club, employment support centre and office space.

Repair of the vacant building had proved prohibitive to commercial developers, prompting the Fund to step into the breach via their Heritage Enterprise scheme – an initiative designed to fund repair and conservation of important structures hit by ‘market failure’.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund said:  “Merkinch Welfare Hall was once at the heart of the local community but now stands empty and neglected.  Whilst much-loved, its restoration presents huge financial challenges. This new scheme works to unlock the potential of these precious old buildings, encouraging private investors and encouraging regeneration.”

No timetable has been specified for completion of the refurbishment work.

4 Comments

Ian Nairn Jr
#1 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 11 Oct 2013 at 14:56 PM
Looks like the rest of the street could do with some restoration too.
Sven
#2 Posted by Sven on 15 Oct 2013 at 10:31 AM
Merkinch is poorest area of Inverness Ian Nairn Jr, possibly the poorest in The Highland region. It does contain a number of late Victorian buildings that in other areas would have been maintained and better used (and a lot of poorly designed Council housing). I agree that the rest of the street clearly needs investment but surely one building being restored may spur on future development?
Ian Nairn Jr
#3 Posted by Ian Nairn Jr on 16 Oct 2013 at 08:59 AM
It may indeed. However the reverse may be true - the continued decline of Pronto Pizza etc could limit the success the refurbished temperance hall. Here's hoping the end of the recession will encourage the neighbouring building owners to follow the fine example of Heritage Enterprise.
Colin
#4 Posted by Colin on 18 Oct 2013 at 10:09 AM
Unfortunately this is a very old picture and Pronto Pizza has long since been refurbished and is now a successful charity book shop. The Merkinch area will certainly benefit from this refurbishment process, a process that has been a long time in coming and I'm exceedingly confident of it's success.

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