Elgin landmark to finally receive work promised over a year ago

Muckle Cross - 'urgent' work was agreed in June 2015.
Muckle Cross – ‘urgent’ work was agreed in June 2015.

AN ELGIN LANDMARK that is in dire need of repairs looks set to have the necessary work done – over a year after councillors agreed funding.

It was in June last year when councillors gave their backing to a £55,000 restoration of the Muckle Cross on the town’s Plainstones.

They were responding to fears that the B-listed structure, which dates from 1882, would very soon be beyond repair unless work was carried out immediately. Councillors agreed that the local authority should contribute £20,000 to the work with a further £15,000 contribution from the Elgin Common Good and £20,000 from the Elgin Conservation and Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

There was, however, a long delay as the process of identifying a suitable contractor for the work was undertaken – this has now been completed with local councillor Graham Leadbitter confirming that work will commence soon.

Councillor Leadbitter had previously promoted the restoration as a “Gold Standard” plan, saying: “A lot of work has gone on behind the scenes and I am pleased at where we have got with this. There is a plan now to review similar structures in other communities.”

This week he added: “It used to be a focal point for market trading in the town and it is still very much a focal point – and a tourist attraction, with visitors frequently taking pictures there.”

The final repair list for the structure includes repairs to the water spouts and chipped stonework.

While the current Muckle Cross has stood since 1882, it has roots going back to the 12th century – the original building on the site was demolished in 1792.