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St Peter’s Seminary secures Heritage Lottery funding

December 6 2013

St Peter’s Seminary secures Heritage Lottery funding
Efforts to breathe new life into the crumbling St Peter’s Seminary have been given a lifeline with the award of a £566k Heritage Lottery Fund grant and the possibility of a further £3m by 2015.

The cash will contribute toward a £7.5m bid by arts body NVA and Avanti Architects to revitalise the modernist structure but is dependent on the organisation raising the shortfall itself over the course of 2014.

Should this prove successful the Gillespie, Kidd and Coia designed structures will be consolidated and access improved by a series of new pathways, opening up a new learning pavilion, subject to an architectural competition, which will play host to a variety of performances and activities.

45 hectares of woodland which surrounds the buildings will also be spruced up by ERZ as part of efforts to attract visitors and engage with locals.

John Allan of Avanti Architects said: “HLF’s support provides the vital jigsaw piece in our project to rescue St Peter’s Seminary from oblivion and make it a unique cultural and educational resource for the people of Scotland and beyond. With Planning and Listed Building Consent also secured, this grant – together with earlier pledges from Historic Scotland and private benefactors – will now enable the team to progress its work to the next stage.”


#1 Posted by Sven on 8 Dec 2013 at 21:50 PM
" a unique cultural and educational resource "

Not really. It is way out west and to far from the population, I dare say, a failed building. It might be a modernist gem, but it failed as a working seminary after only a decade or so of use and could not be used for anything else. The fact that is it is so decayed is a result of poor design, no maintenance, vandalism and local climate (which again fits into poor design - flat roofs near the wettest town in the UK - seriously?). End of the day this is an architects architect building and offers little to nothing to the public. I say let it fall into total ruin.
Kevan Shaw
#2 Posted by Kevan Shaw on 10 Dec 2013 at 14:48 PM
I must take issue with Sven's comments here. The state of the building is directly ascribable to zero maintenance and vandalism. The building was most excellent in its designed role, the clients were certainly not prescient when it comes to the requirements for a Seminary of this scale at the time it was built. The fact that it has proven difficult to re-purpose is not a deficiency in design in fact it shows how carefully and closely it was built to meet its original brief. Decay is also not a sign of bad design and flat roofs work fine if properly designed and maintained. A building with pitched roofs in traditional construction would have fared no worse given the neglect. This is a gem of Scottish architecture and deserves preservation.
#3 Posted by Sven on 10 Dec 2013 at 22:28 PM
The building is remote, Cardross is remote. There is no demand for a 'learning pavilion' in the middle of no where. Balloch and Loch Lomond Shores was built as the gateway to Loch Lomond, do you think people will make a detour to a what looks like an escapee from Detrour or Chernobyl?

Why spend £15 million pounds on a dead building? There are plenty of other, still standing and in use, Gillespie Kidd and Coia buildings in Scotland, so why preserve the one that is the most remote and decayed?

"The fact that it has proven difficult to re-purpose is not a deficiency in design in fact it shows how carefully and closely it was built to meet its original brief"

That only proves to me that the building should not be lavished with £15 million pounds of mostly public money. There are plenty of urban buildings that would love this money, squandering it on a remote site on a building that the public (apart from those who burned it down I suppose) do not care about.
#4 Posted by Helga on 11 Dec 2013 at 09:39 AM
While I mostly agree with your sentiments, Sven, I must disagree when you say that Cardross is remote - the building is a bit of a walk right enough but the town itself is only a 35 minute train journey from Glasgow...
boaby wan
#5 Posted by boaby wan on 11 Dec 2013 at 10:27 AM
I don't understand why a building being "remote" means that it is not an important building, or worthy of funding to save it?
Having visited the building previously, I would suggest that any moves to save it and re-purpose should be applauded

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