The Brough Lodge restoration project in Fetlar has received another funding boost. Historic Scotland has pledged £97,000 to further repair the antiquated building after cracks were found in its structure.
The national body had already provided funding alongside the Shetland Islands Council and Shetland Amenity Trust to the tune of £417,000 to kick off the project’s initial phase, which aimed to make the building wind and watertight, as well as restoring the original appearance.
However, movement cracking was later discovered in the lodge and Historic Scotland have come forward with the funds to cover repairs.
It is believed the first phase of the restoration will be completed by the end of the year having begun almost two years ago, with the overall cost of the project estimated at £2.8m.
The Brough Lodge Trust hopes that the latest developments will attract sponsorship from public agencies and the private sector to help fund the rest of the work that is needed to restore the large building, which was built in 1825.
They have suggested the Fetlar building could host heritage workshops and exhibitions in the future and ultimately become part of Shetland’s tourism circuit.
Trust chairman and project manager Pierre Cambillard also called on local businesses and individuals to donate funds to the project.
“I am delighted that we have received such strong commitment from Historic Scotland, in recognition of the project’s potential benefit to Shetland’s future,” he said.
“I believe that, despite the recession, it will be possible to secure financial support for the original plan to restore the site as a residential heritage centre.
“In the meantime, however, we would be delighted to receive donations from local people and Shetland businesses to help with the next step. I’m confident that investing in Shetland’s heritage in this way will benefit the whole community.
“In restoring assets of this kind, we don’t just preserve the past; we also increase the attractiveness of our islands to visitors and help preserve or develop local skills, which is essential if the economy is to be diverse and prosperous.”