Southside Housing Association awarded funding for historic Gorbals restoration

British Linen Bank2A major restoration project led by Southside Housing Association has been awarded funding from newly formed lead public body for heritage Historic Environment Scotland.

The former British Linen Bank in the Gorbals area of Glasgow is due to undergo a major revamp to six flats for mid market rent as part of a wider scheme to regenerate the surrounding area by Southside HA.

The Association is also considering transforming the bottom floor into community facilities.

A total of £345,000 was awarded from Historic Environment Scotland’s Building Repair Grants Scheme to carry out essential repair work. It is one of five projects across the country to have shared £1.7 million in funding.

The property at 162-168 Gorbals Street is a Category A listed building built around 1900 for the British Linen Bank which ceased trading as a public bank around 1969 but still existed as a private commercial bank till 2000.

The building has been in the possession of Southside Housing Association for over 20 years. A renovation scheme in 1996 was refused funding and the building has lain derelict since then.

Southside Housing Association in partnership with Glasgow Building Preservation Trust has recently been successful in attracting funding from both Glasgow City Council and Historic Scotland for the restoration of the iconic building and are in the process of submitting a number of additional funding applications to Charitable Trusts and other appropriate agencies to fund the project throughout the contract.

Southside Housing Associations secretary Iain Dyer said that the Association is extremely excited and committed to the restoration of this significant building which will compliment the recent transformation of the Gorbals area undertaken by New Gorbals Housing Association.

Jane Ryder OBE, chair of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “As the new lead body in Scotland’s historic environment, one of our key drivers is to facilitate and enable others to help protect the country’s built heritage. These five grant recipients are a fine example of that collaboration working in practice, where the building owners are drawing on finance and expertise from us, as well as working with partners - which usually include local authorities, community groups, and other investment bodies - in order to bring these important historic buildings back into reuse.

“The scheme isn’t just about repairing old buildings which have fallen into disrepair though: the end use of each of these projects is something which will greatly benefit the communities living around it. Not only directly by using the buildings for their new purpose, whether that be leisure, business, education or the arts, but by the impact which high-quality conservation and restoration works can have in the regeneration of an area.”

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