New work on restoring Polwarth Parish Church to its former glory started last month with an announcement of funding of £132,200 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).

Sitting adjacent to the Union Canal, this local landmark with its prominent tower was designed in 1899 by Sydney Mitchell & Wilson. It was originally built as the Candlish Memorial Free Church and completed in 1913. Now in need of major repairs, the Church requires urgent work to its roof, windows and masonry.

The grant, which includes £7,200 development funding, has been awarded through HLF’s Repair Grants to Places of Worship scheme which funds urgent and essential repairs in order to keep churches across Scotland structurally stable and watertight. It is the second round of funding to be awarded to Polwarth Parish Church from HLF as it received £87,400 for the first phase of its renovations.

We went out to Polwarth this morning to see what Robert Rodger from main contractor, Laing Traditional Masonry was up to.We will go back out and take more photos of this lovely church – but perhaps when it has stopped snowing!

Polwarth’s minister, the Rev. Jack Holt, welcomed the news and said:-
“I am delighted that with the generous help of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) we are able to continue our restoration of this unique and beautiful building. These works will allow the building both to serve the future needs of the congregation for the years ahead, and as a vibrant and necessary focus for community activities in the Merchiston area.”

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“This architectural landmark gives a sense of identity to the area while providing a venue for worship and many other activities. The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to help fund its repairs so that it can continue to play its valuable role in the life of the local community.”

The total cost of the scheme of repairs is £403,000. The contractor is Laing Traditional Masonry, while the professional advisers are Simpson & Brown Architects and KLM Partnership Chartered Surveyors.