On 27th and 28th October, NESPT held a conference and site visits to celebrate the creative re-use of Aberdeenshire’s built heritage.  The Castles to Clock Towers conference, held on 27th October at National Trust for Scotland property Haddo House, was attended by the Provost of Aberdeenshire (pictured with Chairman of NESPT, Marcus Humphrey, and Andrew Wright, who Chaired the event.)

A number of renowned Scottish architects and heritage professionals spoke at the event, which was held during the Scottish Government’s theme Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design. Renowned architect Richard Murphy OBE talked about ‘Creative Options for the Reuse of Historic Buildings’.  Richard has previously been voted “Scottish Architect of the Year” and was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Honours List 2007.

A number of established heritage professionals also provided expert testimony through talks on case study projects including the Sail Loft Project at Portsoy, the Clock Tower at Stonehaven, and Fyvie Castle; sharing their knowledge and ideas on how projects can be funded, solutions found and challenges overcome.

As well as the conference on Thursday 27th October, a day of site visits also took place on Friday 28th October to the North of Aberdeenshire, which included tours of the Sail Loft, Boat Shed and Salmon Bothy in Portsoy, and walking tours of the Banff Conservation Area and HLF funded works at the Haddo Country Park.

Supporting NESPT, event partners included; Aberdeenshire Council, Historic Environment Scotland, Aberdeen Society of Architects, the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland, the Robert Gordon University, and the National Trust for Scotland.  The event was also sponsored by Laing Traditional Masonry, A D Walker, Blackadders solicitors and Grant Considine Chartered Accountants.

Feedback from attendees was very positive, with particular comments on the benefits of holding a conference on this topic in the North East of Scotland. Discussions are currently being held on holding future events of this nature again in the future.