Grant Guidance

Inverness City Heritage Trust was established to take a strategic view of the conservation needs of the buildings within the Riverside and Crown Conservation Areas and to co-ordinate a programme of repair and restoration work funded by grant assistance. Grants offered by the Trust are discretionary.


The Trust is operating a building repair grant scheme, which will assist, with the repair of commercial properties in Inverness City Centre.  Unfortunately due to budget constraints, we have had to suspend our residential grants until 2017 when the situation will be reviewed.

Grants will be given for works that on completion bring the external shell of the building back into a state of good repair.

Grant Rates

Grants will be offered at the discretion of the Inverness City Heritage Trust Board of Directors and is subject to available funds at the time of application. Each application is based on its own merits and grant monies will be allocated at four grants meetings per calendar year.

Prioritisation of applications

From April 2015, priority will be given to properties within the City Centre which can demonstrate “regeneration” (see below).

Regeneration in terms of the Scottish Government’s Economic Strategy and what we aim to work towards is defined as:

 “The holistic process of reversing the economic, physical and social decline of places where market forces alone won’t suffice”

Eligible Buildings

If the property lies within Inverness City Centre, it may be eligible for assistance providing that it:

  • Is of architectural or historic interest, and
  • Is a good period example of a particular type or style, and
  • Is unmodified, or only slightly (and not harmfully) modified from theoriginal external form with the potential to be restored, and
  • Will make a positive contribution to the street scene, townscape orlandscape setting

Non eligible works

Grants are not offered for the following types of work

  • Work already complete or underway i.e. retrospective grants
  • Routine maintenance, including redecoration unless the decoration is needed as a direct result of eligible repair.
  • Interior repairs, unless they result directly from repairs to the structure, or are vital to the building’s preservation

Pedestrianisation schemes, new design and speculative recreations of lost features and townscape. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain their property. The Trust encourages all property owners to have their property regularly inspected and maintenance work carried out before under-maintenance leads to disrepair. This is good conservation practice and is likely to prevent the need for major repairs.

Eligible Works

Grant assisted repairs should use appropriate techniques or methods of construction and high quality materials proven by tradition, normally using the same materials. Detailed guidance indicating the standard of work expected is available on request. Substitute or artificial materials are not eligible and their use is discouraged.

As well as requiring to be acceptable as a whole, and having the benefit of all the necessary consents and permissions, eligible works can be defined as follows:

General structural repairs – the necessary structural repair, conservation or strengthening of the existing structure (in response to a proven ongoing defect). In all cases the most conservative solution of structural repair should be adopted.

Structural timber or timber repairs – appropriate repairs to timber frames, roof structures, beams, joists, and other structural timbers are eligible for grant where intervention is based on a detailed survey.

Specialist treatments – precautionary timber treatments are not grant eligible. Dry rot and timber preservative treatments may be eligible providing they are shown to be justified by an independent assessment which confirms active infestation.

Damp-proofing and damp proof course installation is not eligible. Damp- eradication measures such as improved drainage or the lowering of ground levels may be eligible.

Reinstatement after repair – internal repairs are not eligible. Reinstatement of plaster removed to allow repairs to beams, joists etc. may be grant eligible. Reinstatement should match the original or be based on an agreed alternative design.

Re-roofing and high level repairs – Re-roofing in natural materials will be grant-eligible, such as slates of matching colour, texture and technical properties.

Comprehensive re-roofing is eligible. Partial repair (for example, fixing slipped slates) considered to be routine maintenance work is not grant- eligible. All repairs to the roof structure should be undertaken alongside other eligible works to lead work, chimneys, rainwater goods and any other high level repairs.

New roof windows or skylights will be ineligible although should be agreed as part of a wider scheme of repairs.

Chimney repairs – Necessary repairs to chimneys are normally grant eligible, provided the chimney is retained or reinstated accurately to its original height and profile. Repair of existing chimneys is to be preferred to rebuilding, although the latter may be grant eligible if structurally necessary. The reinstatement of the original style of chimney pots, when associated with other chimney repairs, is grant-eligible.

The cost of demolishing chimney stacks and roofing over the demolished chimney is not grant eligible.

Lead work – The necessary repair or renewal existing lead work and the provision of weatherings such as flashings, soakers and cappings, is grant eligible subject to appropriate detailing. The extensive use of lead welding in order to extend the life of lead of historic interest may also be eligible, as may the reforming of steps and falls in lead-lined gutters in accordance with modern practice.

Rainwater Goods – The repair or replacement of rainwater goods is grant eligible, providing it matches the original materials and design or are based on an agreed design based on the building type, date, character and locality.

Plastic, PVC or GRP rainwater goods are not eligible.

Stonework repairs and repointing – The repair of external stonework, if to an appropriate specification, is grant eligible. Selective rebuilding of existing stonework, if structurally necessary and to an agreed specification, can be considered for grant. Generally, this will be using salvaged existing materials from the building and/or new matching materials and should be preceded by a record survey of the building. Associated repointing is grant eligible, where structurally necessary, the minimum required and carried out to an agreed specification.

Plastic in situ resin-based mortar repairs to stonework are not normally acceptable. Their use in minor repairs to points of fine architectural detail may be acceptable.

Render repairs and rerendering – Repairs to render are grant eligible. The repair of render or stucco features, such as cornices, string courses, architraves, columns and pilasters are also grant eligible. These should be repaired carefully and accurately to the original or otherwise agreed form and profile. GRP or similar replacement mouldings are not eligible. The removal of historic render and the exposure of rubble masonry is not grant eligible.

External Cleaning – Stone cleaning of buildings in only grant eligible in exceptional circumstances. Washing of buildings in certain circumstances may be eligible, for example, in order to remove graffiti. Chemical cleaning may also be grant eligible where this is necessary to remove paint to establish the condition of the stone underneath or where it can be proven that soiling is having a significant adverse effect on the physical performance of the stone.

Windows, doors and external joinery – The repair of windows, external doors and external joinery is grant eligible. The unavoidable replacement of historic joinery can be considered for grant if a replica of the original or based on an agreed alternative respecting the building type, character, date and locality.

Finishes should be in keeping with the historic character of the building and the character and appearance of the conservation area.

Double Glazing – double glazing can only be funded in exceptional cases. Please see our separate policy on Double-glazing.

Shop front reinstatement will only be assisted where good physical or documentary evidence exists of a shop’s previous form. Conjectural schemes, even where these improve the appearance of the property, will not be supported. Shop front reinstatement will only be supported in outstanding conservation areas and prioritised to certain parts of these areas. For further details contact the Trust’s Project Officer.


Reinstatement of traditional vertically sliding sash windows can add both architectural interest to individual properties and sections of streets. Unfortunately, in some areas traditional windows have been replaced to such an extent that reinstating one set of traditional windows would have very limited impact on the street scene. This will be taken into consideration when grant applications are being reviewed. Applications are favoured where a whole elevation or logical section of it is to be reinstated including associated doors and other fenestration.


As with window reinstatement original doors contribute significantly to the appearance of buildings and streets. Their reinstatement can have the effect of adding architectural interest to otherwise plain elevations. Reinstatement of traditional doors will normally only be eligible for assistance where associated windows are already traditional in form or will be reinstated concurrently.

Other types of reinstatement work will be considered on an individual basis. Generally eligible work relating to special architectural features will form part of a more comprehensive scheme of repairs.

Professional fees

Where a comprehensive scheme of repairs is proposed, or where in the opinion of the Trust works require special oversight, an applicant will need to appoint a competent professional adviser experienced in conservation work to draw up scheme details and oversee the project.

Details of suitably qualified architects experienced in the repair of historic buildings can be obtained from the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) Tel: 0131-229 7545 or on their website. Details of suitably qualified chartered building surveyors experienced in the repair of historic buildings can be obtained from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in Scotland (RICS) Tel: 0131 225 7078 and should be “conservation accredited” by the RICS.

In certain circumstances other suitably qualified professionals may be best equipped to tackle schemes requiring specialist expertise.

The grant eligible percentage for fee costs is up to 16% of eligible works costs. The Trust may vary this depending on the number of professionals in the team; however it will not exceed 20%. Where different grant rates are being offered for work on the same project, professional fees will normally be eligible at the lower rate. The services provided by the professional advisor should include:

  • preparing a thorough survey of the structure and condition of the building.
  • preparing detailed specification and drawings for the urgent and necessary repairs or recording of the fabric.
  • getting competitive tenders and providing a tender report.
  • obtaining all statutory consents for the repair.
  • arranging a contract with the builder.
  • regular inspections and valuations of the work on site.Simple schemes of repair will also benefit from being designed and overseen by competent professionals, although they can also be awarded on the basis of competitive tendering.

For further information/ advice contact:

Project Officer

Inverness IV1 1JJ
Tel: 01463 785004

e-mail :