Scots landmark in £90k renovation project following grant award

A SCOTS landmark is undergoing significant renovation after receiving a hefty £90,000 grant from a public body.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have awarded St Michael’s Parish Church in Linlithgow, West Lothian grant funding to renovate their iconic Crown of Thorns spire.  

HES has given the church funding to repair the internal timbers and replace the cladding on its unique spire after the original cladding was first installed in the 1960s.

The restoration project is proceeding at pace, with the tower currently wrapped in scaffolding and a large platform at the top to access the structure. 

The refurbishment of the Crown of Thorns is the first step of a wider project to upgrade the church and make it a community hub.

In addition, the completed works will restore the Crown of Thorns to its original dusky gold colour that has faded over the decades to the current silver-grey. 

Alan Miller, leader of the Aspire Linlithgow fundraising campaign at St Michael’s Parish Church, spoke on the importance of the money for the renovations.

He said: “On top of nearly £300,000 raised through our community campaign and other funders, the HES grant over over £90,000 was the clincher that allowed us to appoint the contractor and begin this important part of the project. 

“Once the new gold-coloured bronze alloy cladding is in place, the spire will undoubtedly attract widespread interest in the church and the site it shares with historic Linlithgow Palace.”

The refurbishment of the Crown of Thorns is also the first stage of a wider project that looks to upgrade the church and redevelop existing spaces into a multi-agency community hub.

Grant funding and community donations are behind the financing of the project.

HES grants look to support a wide variety of projects across the country that will benefit communities and places.

They hope to harness historic environments and provide wider benefits including supporting jobs and skills.

Information on criteria and the applications process is further available online. 

Dr Susan O’Connor, Head of Grants at HES, said: “It’s special for HES to be able to play a part in the restoration of this iconic local landmark.

“The generosity shown in the community fundraising highlights how well-loved the Crown of Thorns is to the people of Linlithgow. 

“These repairs will help ensure the structure can be seen in its original glory for many years to come.”