ONE of the “jewels” of Edinburgh’s Georgian crown is set for a sparkling makeover after securing a £250,000 windfall for “essential repairs”.
The Queen’s Hall, on Clerk Street, will undergo a major overhaul concentrated on its outer shell in a bid to stave off leaks and preserve the 200-year-old former church for generations to come.
It will see significant stone repairs carried out as well as refurbishment of the original 19th-century windows and front railings.
A major roof renovation took place a decade ago but Queen’s Hall bosses said the planned work was the largest revamp the venue had seen since the 1970s.
The Queen’s Hall is a category A building designed in 1823 by architect Robert Brown.
It was granted a £259,159 Building Repair Grant – run by Historic Scotland – which provides financial aid to property owners to help pay for high-quality repairs using traditional materials and specialist craftsman to conserve original features.
In return, owners must maintain the building and allow some access to visitors.
Adrian Harris, Queen’s Hall chief executive, said: “The Hall has been a fixture in the city’s civic life since 1823 and this will help guarantee the building’s future for many years to come.
“It’s a repairs grant and will focus on the external stonework of the building, carrying out essential repairs to stop water getting in and the stonework crumbling.
“On one level a lot of the work is essential and won’t be immediately apparent to the public other than the fact that they don’t get dripped on when they come to the building.
“Probably the most visible will be the main facade on to Clerk Street. We hope that those repair works give a real lift to the front of the building.
“The other repairs are keeping the building watertight and ensuring all of the stone work is safe for when we are welcoming people in.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Historic buildings, such as The Queen’s Hall offer great opportunities for education as well as providing important landmarks in our towns and cities which are key to our identity, community and memories.
“This is an exciting and worthwhile project and I am delighted that it has been supported through the Building Repair Grants.
“It is important to ensure that historically significant buildings such as Scotland’s oldest working smiddy, a building type which would once have existed in huge numbers, are maintained so future generations can learn about our fascinating history.”
The Queen’s Hall was one of ten venues across Scotland to receive a share in a £2.6 million cash windfall.