A local regeneration scheme could meet the bulk of the funding for urgent repairs to a listed building in the centre of Keith.
The Institute building in Mid Street – which formerly housed Moray Council offices – has been closed for the past three years because of its deteriorating condition.
An inspection has found that £166,000 is needed to prevent further damage to the external fabric of the structure, which dates from 1886 and is in a conservation area.
Moray councillors will be told next week that £90,000 is available from the Keith Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) provided the council comes up with the other £76,000.
However, the money is only available until next spring and a full meeting of the council on Wednesday will be asked to agree to meet the balance.
A report to the meeting says that timescales are tight but the completion of the essential repairs to the roof and external stonework would protect the building from potentially expensive internal damage.
“If no repairs are carried out, there is the potential that the deterioration of the fabric could escalate in future years, leading to significantly greater upgrade costs,” warns the report.
“Significant external repairs should also encourage any potential interest for future development of the building which will benefit the community.”
The report notes that failure to deal with the current issues meant that the structure would decay further and potentially lead to health and safety implications for the public.
It also cautions that the opportunity to access the CARS funding is one that may not present itself again.
This is a link to the full report:
Moray Council area stretches from Tomintoul in the south to the shores of the Moray Firth, from Keith in the east to Forres in the west. The council and its 4,500 employees respond to the needs of 92,500 residents in this beautiful part of Scotland, which nestles between Aberdeenshire and the Highlands.
Famous for its colony of dolphins, fabulous beaches and more malt whisky distilleries than any where else in Scotland, Moray is a thriving area and a great place to live.
Headquartered in Elgin, the administrative capital of Moray.