A historic sports pavilion has been restored to its former glory thanks to a heritage funding project.
Stonehaven Recreation Grounds received a grant of £92,069 from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to complete the urgent repair of the tennis and bowling club pavilion.
The pavilion risked closure due to decaying wooden fixtures.
In addition, surveys showed that steel support beams were corroded, potentially affecting the building structure.
Bid to futureproof historic pavilion
A lack of funds to address issues, worsened by the Covid crisis, drastically reduced the ground’s income.
Trustees of Stonehaven Recreation Grounds wanted to futureproof the listed sports pavilion which was constructed in 1909.
Stuart Alexander, trustee of Stonehaven Recreation Grounds said: “It was getting almost dangerous with the wooden walkways lifting and the steel beams underneath were corroded.
“Because of its location down by the sea, it’s very exposed to salty air so it came just in time.”
Project needed proper architectural planning
Stuart added: “Also because the pavilion is a C listed building it needed proper architectural planning.
“You couldn’t just patch it up willy-nilly.”
A category C listing is a building of special architectural or historic interest representative of a period, style or type.
The Trust enlisted help from a heritage consultant, and Inspired Design and Developments Ltd (IDD) to complete the work.
The Historic Environment Recovery Fund, launched in October 2020, is administered by HES on behalf of the Scottish Government.
“Historic Environment Scotland released money with the idea that local heritage sites could get back on their feet after Covid”, Stuart said.
“We went through the grant application process and were successful.”
Unique pavilion is asset to town
The unique pavilion is an asset to the Stonehaven community, open to locals, club members, tourists, and day-trippers alike.
Its veranda provides public access to the recreation grounds which have been used for tennis, bowling and putting for 111 years.
Like other sporting facilities it remained closed during lockdown, yet this proved timely for repairs to be done.
Stuart said of the pavilion: “The tennis club uses it, and the bowling club uses it as a clubhouse.
“It had shut because the activities weren’t permitted but as we gradually open, we will be allowed to.
“It was actually quite a good time to do the repairs.”
‘Restored to its former glory’
Gary Black, Director IDD, said: “We have been delighted to assist the Recreational Grounds in Stonehaven with the external refurbishment and repair of the Grade C listed Tennis Pavilion.
“The pavilion has now been restored to its former glory.
“We would like to thank Recreation Grounds for the opportunity to be a part of this project.
“All the best to everyone using the building, it’s good to see everyone getting back into using these facilities.”
Stuart added, “The trustees are keen to get as many people as possible again using the facilities as restrictions allow.
“Usually, we are self-sufficient with income from the caravans, on-site bar, tennis courts and bowling green.
“But due to Covid we had to close and furlough admin and bar staff.
“The bar has outdoor seating, and you don’t have to be a member to use it.
“We’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back.”