Historic Speirs Centre opens doors to public after decades
A Victorian ‘Scottish Renaissance’ style architectural building has been restored to its historic former glory and by hub East Central Scotland. The building, originally, public baths (including Turkish and Russian baths) were designed by Glasgow Architects John Burnet & Son and the development was underwritten as a gift to the town by local businessman John Thomson Paton. This project, which originally opened to the public on 29th April 1898 has remained largely closed since the 1960s due to general disuse and a major fire incident.
The refurbished iconic and important historic and cultural building now proudly opens its doors to the public once again. The Speirs Centre will showcase many new and improved services, including a new library with WiFi facilities, customer services facilities for all enquiries and payments, display areas as well as a tourist information point.
The £3.1M development has seen the historic fabric of the building restored with several internal features brought into public view for the first time in several decades. The building retains construction materials and styles typical to their era in Scotland, for example, the hexagonal chimney, which is the only one of its kind surviving in Scotland. The former boiler room area which had fallen into disrepair has been demolished and a modern extension built in its place. Local contractor Marshall Construction completed this construction on time, and in doing so, has created several local construction jobs, training and apprenticeship programmes. hubco’s contractual framework with Marshall also saw nearly 80% of work packages tendered locally with a similar percentage of construction activity delivered through a workforce living locally. These are significant commitments to ensure that the East Central Scotland region sees a major boost to socio-economic activity from the development programme.