Port authority commences multi-million pound restoration of historic Customs House

04/06/2024
Left to Right: Brandon Bryant, Commercial Director at Pert Bruce Construction; Craig Bruce, Managing Director at Pert Bruce Construction; Garry Adam, Director and Chartered Architect at Adam & Gordon Architects; and Tom Hutchison, CEO of Montrose Port Authority

MONTROSE Port Authority has begun works on its self-funded, multi-million pound restoration project of the historic Customs House building, demonstrating the Port Authority’s commitment to preserving maritime heritage and investing for future generations as a trust port.

The B-listed Customs House was acquired last year alongside the Granary Store for a six-figure sum. The Customs House project, representing Phase 1, aims to transform the building into a modern commercial space and community hub, with the Granary Store restoration to follow in Phase 2. This initiative not only preserves an important piece of Montrose’s maritime history but also encourages economic growth and innovation in the region.

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Two local firms, Pert Bruce Construction and Adam & Gordon Architects, were awarded the contracts for the regeneration of the 19th century building, reflecting the Port’s dedication to supporting local businesses.

The Montrose-based contractors were selected for their locality, specialist knowledge, extensive experience and proven track record of carrying out restoration projects of this nature, including the ongoing transformation of Sunnyside Hospital into a luxury housing estate.

Having also worked on the Seagreen Offshore Wind Farm Operations and Maintenance base at Montrose Port, Pert Bruce Construction are well-equipped to lead a team of local subcontractors to undertake the restoration of Customs House to its former glory.

“Pert Bruce Construction have enjoyed a strong working relationship with Montrose Port for many years, and we are thrilled to be selected for the regeneration of this landmark building,” said Brandon Bryant, Commercial Director at Pert Bruce Construction. “As a Montrose-based business, it’s fantastic news for us and our supply chain.”

Significant progress has already been made, with Pert Bruce Construction ensuring the building is safe and secure, including the completion of a new main entrance. This rapid action is crucial, given the building’s precarious condition, which might not withstand another winter.

“Now that the essential safety work and detailed survey work is complete, the project can progress with the detailed design development to restore the building and integrate it into the wider Montrose Port Authority estate on the North Quay,” added Mr Bryant. “During the summer the building will receive a full external scaffold wrap to secure the existing structure and allow our team to complete the first phase of work which will see the project through to being wind and water tight as well as completing the major internal structural alterations.”

Chief Executive of Montrose Port Authority, Captain Tom Hutchison, emphasised the importance of this project: “Collaborating with two local businesses, both experts in their respective fields, is a testament to our belief in supporting local businesses and driving growth in our town and wider, local economy. The progress already made on the project is promising, marking the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Customs House and ensuring this historic maritime building continues to have a significant role in Montrose’s future.”

Historic Environment Scotland, consulted on the planning application, expressed their support for the project, noting that it, “will see the comprehensive and unified development of two long-standing buildings at risk.”

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