Councillors urged to agree repair bill for iconic Keith building

Keith Institute – urgent repairs required

URGENT REPAIRS TO one of Moray’s iconic listed buildings could be met by funding from a local regeneration scheme.

Keith’s Institute building on Mid Street, which was once used to house local Moray Council offices, has been steadily deteriorating since it was last occupied three years ago.

A recent inspection found that around £166,000 was required just to prevent any further damage to the external fabric of a building that celebrates its 130th anniversary next year.

Next week Moray Councillors will be informed that there is £90,000 available from the Keith Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) – provided the local authority comes up with the other £76,000.

Councillors will also be told on Wednesday that the CARS money will only be available until next spring, with a report also highlighting that the roof and external stonework needs to be repaired to protect the building from potentially expensive external damage.

The report going before a meeting of the Full Council on Wednesday says: “If no repairs are carried out, there is the potential that the deterioration of the fabric could escalate in future years, leading to significantly greater upgrade costs.

“Significant external repairs should also encourage any potential interest for future development of the building which will benefit the community.”

The report concludes that failure to deal with the current issues would mean further decay to the structure and would have the potential to pose health and safety implications for the public.

Councillors will also be cautioned that the opportunity to access CARS funding may not present itself again.