The final phase of a 60 week programme of work to transform the B-listed former St Paul’s Church on Perth’s Old High Street is delayed until April 2020 following several unforeseen circumstances. The estimated completion date for the project is now August 2020.
All stone work and rendered panelling infills require the use of lime mortar in accordance with Historic and Environmental Scotland guidelines for historic buildings. The Scottish Lime Centre have advised that they do not recommend major stone works during the winter months as the lime mortar and render quality would be compromised, presenting a long-term risk for a failure of the lime mortar.
Jim Valentine, Depute Chief Executive of Perth & Kinross Council, said: “We understand that this delay is disappointing; however, it is important that we take on-board and follow the expert advice we have been provided to mitigate any potential risks that could affect the quality of the materials. The potential safety issue to the public and surrounding buildings if the material was to fail is not something that we are willing to risk, and as such it is our responsibility to take the necessary steps to avoid anything like this from happening”.
The work is a major milestone in the project which will see one of the city’s most high profile empty buildings brought back into use as a public arts and events space. The shape of the unusual hexagonal building and the spire will be retained, although the roof will be removed so that it becomes an outdoor space.
Perth & Kinross Council completed the purchase of St Paul’s Church in early 2017. Phase 2 works completed in 2019 on site to date include:
- removal of the existing roof,
- stabilisation of the octagon wall head and reinstatement of the former wall head detail
- extensive stone repairs and replacement
- formation of ‘portals’ into the building through the former gothic window openings
- creation of a paved courtyard within
- installation of a lighting array; and restoration work to the steeple
For more information on the background of St Paul’s Church visit the Buildings at Risk Register Scotland website.