Abercairny Estate, located near Crieff in Perthshire, have worked tirelessly to bring a long-term empty property back into use, providing benefits to local people looking for housing and the local tradesmen completing the works.
The property was built in the 19th century as a Head Forester’s cottage. It originally had 2 main bedrooms, but it was generously proportioned and there were smaller, possibly children’s, bedrooms within the cottage.
The property became empty in early 2017 when the previous occupant could no longer sustain living there due to its condition and their personal circumstances. Following on from a previous, successful Empty Homes project, the Estate approached the council to see if the Quarterbank House could be brought back into use using the Empty Homes Initiative Grant Scheme.
Help was provided and the end project to bring the almost 200-year old property up to the Repairing standard was practically a complete re-build, due to the extensive repair works required. Works included a new roof, insulation of all exterior walls, new windows and exterior doors, oil central heating, extensive re-wiring and the opportunity to create a third bedroom and a downstairs bathroom. In order to maintain the character of the building, internal doors were kept.
The total cost of the renovation works was around £100k, with the Empty Homes grant contributing £20k. The house is now up to the Repairing standard and is providing the local community with much needed affordable housing.
On completion of the works there was strong demand from prospective tenants, as properties of this size and type rarely become available in this area of Perthshire. Quarterbank House is now home to a family with four children who are home-educated and who have plans to be as self-sufficient as possible, growing their own fruit and vegetables.