Aileen Campbell, SNP MSP for South of Scotland has told the Scottish Parliament how she hopes new legislation from the SNP Government will help enhance protection of historic sites and buildings in the Clydesdale area. Her comments come as the Royal Burgh of Lanark Community Council takes urgent action to seek listed status for the former Lanark Grammar Building on Albany Drive.

During a debate on the first stage of the Historic Environment (Amendment) Bill, Aileen told the Chamber that she was backing the Community Council’s campaign, and highlighted a number of other local sites that may benefit from new legislation, including Carluke’s High Mill and the Elsrickle site of Biggar Archaeology Group’s historic discovery of Scotland’s oldest human settlement. Aileen also raised the need to simplify some processes, as archaeological digs have held up a decision on the future of Crawfordjohn Primary School.

Speaking during the debate, Aileen Campbell MSP said:

"I have spoken in the Chamber before about the Clydesdale High Mill€¦ Sadly it also remains at risk of collapse, despite a concerted campaign by the Clydesdale Mills Society. In recent months, South Lanarkshire Council has undertaken a desk exercise to review options for the Mill, but it continues to encounter difficulties in enforcing a compulsory works notice.

"I am sure the Clydesdale Mills Society and others will be interested to learn more about the powers in the Bill that will allow the Scottish Government to offer further grants to undertake work on an ancient monument even where the owners have not requested such action€¦

"Although as a history graduate I am interested in finding out about our past and celebrating our history, I recognise that there are sometimes conflicts when we do so. For example, the archaeological and historical studies at the site of Crawfordjohn primary school have resulted in a delay in information getting to the parents about the future of the school, as the children have been decanted to another local school with no timescale given for the completion of the studies. That uncertainty is worrying for parents, and I hope that a decision on that can be sped up.

"Improving opportunities for designation may also help groups like Lanark Community Council, which is currently urgently seeking protection for the old Lanark Grammar School Building on Albany Drive in the town. Many local residents would wish to see this historic building retained - perhaps adapted for modern use such as flats, but still to keep the facade of the building which so many know and love.

"Sadly it appears that South Lanarkshire Council is minded to allow the building to be flattened, and the Community Council is urgently seeking advice from Historic Scotland on what options for designation may exist. I have written to Historic Scotland to add my support to these efforts."

Speaking afterward outside the Scottish Parliament Chamber, Aileen Campbell MSP said:

"Clydesdale and the South of Scotland are full of historic sites and buildings that can teach us about the past and make a contribution to our future.

"I know many people in the area would love to see the High Mill in Carluke and the Albany Drive building in Lanark brought back into modern use, while preserving their historic features.

"Making sure the right legislation and support is in place is a key part of the jigsaw and I’m glad the Scottish Government’s new proposals have received support in Parliament. I’ll be continuing to work with the Clydesdale Mills Society, Community Councils and others to make sure we get the most from our historic environment."



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Aileen Campbell MSP, Kirkton Chambers, 12 Kirkton Street, Carluke ML8 4AB • 01555 750 249 • This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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