Launch Presentation

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One of the key aims of the Dalkeith THI and CARS is to engage with the local community and to promote an awareness and understanding of Dalkeith’s unique heritage ...

To mark the completion of the conversion,repair and restoration of the former Cross Keys Hotel an event was held in the building on the 12th April 2013.

Funding partners to the project as well as the owner, contractor,architect together with the Provost of Midlothian Council , Joe wallace,local Councillors and local community representatives attended the event .An exhibition  was set up in one of the new flats and visitors were given the opportunity to look around the building.

Donald Marshall the Chair of the Dalkeith THI/CARS project Team says, "the completion of this project represents a key milestone in the Dalkeith THI/CARS scheme. I was very concerned about the condition of this important building and was very pleased when we were able to agree a grant scheme with the new owner .The work has been carried out with great care and attention to detail , ensuring that the historic and architectural quality of the building has been restored and enhanced.Cost Cutters are now occupying the ground floor and the flats above will provide high quality living accommodation in the centre of the town."

For a description of the scheme please refer to the leaflet .

Before and after images of the scheme :

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To mark the completion of the repair and restoration of WH Smith in Dalkeith an event was held in Dalkeith Arts Centre on the 15th March 2013. The senior surveyor for WH Smith attended as well as the main contractor for the scheme, Chadwell and some sub contractors including the stone mason, Edinburgh Stone Masons together with funding  partner representatives, the Provost of Midlothian Council, Joe Wallace, local councillors and community representatives.

An exhibition was set up and a photo call was arranged with the Midlothian Advertiser.  Donald Marshall, Chair of the Dalkeith THI/CARS Project Team said, "this is a key building in the grant scheme; a Priority 1 listed Grade B property located prominently in the High Street opposite the junction with South Street so it is visible in long views coming up South Street towards the junction. I am very pleased that we have been able to assist with this project. It has secured the future of this important historic building. Many people have fond memories of the store when it was Manchester House and a couple of the "iwozheredalkeith" story plaques are placed in Elliot's and Wilson's Close recording some local memories of the area. It is vital that the building continues to have a commercial role in the town centre and WH Smith are to be congratulated for restoring the building and giving it a new lease of life which helps the viability of the High Street in these difficult times". See attached leaflet for details.

WH Smith 2 800x600           P1000802       P1000803  (Photograph from the Midlothian Advertiser)               


Dalkeith THI/CARS receives national recognition.

Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs visited Dalkeith on the 29th January. She announced the next round of Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes in Scotland (one of which is Gorebridge in Midlothian) as well as praising the work in Dalkeith and walking along the High Street with the Project Manager to look at the work being carried out. 

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(Historic Scotland photographs)

Fiona Hyslop praises work in Dalkeith at Midlothian Council Chamber then goes on a walkabout in the town centre.

The Duke of Buccleuch reopens the Tolbooth.

On February 13th the Duke of Buccleuch reopened the Tolbooth at an event to mark the completion of the repair and renovation work. He cut the ribbons across the main entrance door and gave an address to an invited audience (grant partners and representatives of organisations who had been involved in the repair/renovation programme). Afterwards guests were able to view an exhibition of the scheme and take some refreshments at the County Hotel next door.

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(photographs from Midlothiam Advertiser)

The Duke of Buccleuch reopens the Tolbooth .

Last priority project , 1-3 High Street receives grant award.

The Repair and restoration of 1-3 High Street, the last of the four priority projects to be repaired is now on site (the others are the Tolbooth, the former Cross Keys Hotel and 1-3 Musselburgh Road).  The scheme involves repairing the roof, restoring the stone end gable and rebuilding the stone chimney, repairing the stone on the front elevation and refurbishing all the timber sash and case windows and taking off the hard cement render on the rear and reharling in a lime harl and colour wash. Some improvements will also be carrried out to the shopfronts.

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1-3 High Street, priority project starts on site.

"Iwozheredalkeith" plaque scheme launched,

On February 15th  the Midlothian Artist in Residence, Susan Grant, launched the iwozheredalkeith plaque scheme at an event in the Dalkeith Arts Centre. An invited audience was able to view an exhibition of Susan's work as part of her residency in Midlothian and also to look at the plaque scheme which has involved working with local people to collect their stories and memories of Dalkeith so that they can be recorded and some have been set out on the red plaques placed in the town centre.  A leaflet is now available so that the plaque trail can be followed around the town. On the following Saturday, February 16th Susan lead a guided tour of the plaques in the town centre.

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Susan Grant, Midlothian Artist in Residence leads guided tour of the iwozheredalkeith plaque project.



The overall project is now half way through the fourth year and some large schemes are nearing completion:

WHSmith , 69-71 High Street Dalkeith ;

Before:                                                  After:

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The Tolbooth :

Before:                                                  After:

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15-17 High Street:

Before, rear of the building:                 After:

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The opening event was held at 1-3 Musselburgh Road on the evening of the 25th October 2012 to celebrate the completion of the scheme.

Representatives from the developer, Queensberry Property Ltd and the Contractor Cruden Homes Ltd attended as did members of the grant partnership and members from different local community groups. (Dalkeith History Society, Dalkeith Community Council, Dalkeith Heritage Trail Group)

A leaflet was produced to record how the scheme was carried out ,explaining some of the background and historical importance of the building.An exhibition banner has also been produced which will be displayed in the shopfront at 81 High Street Dalkeith for the next few weeks .

Donald Marshall the chairman of the Dalkeith THI/CARS Project Team welcomed everyone to the event and explained why the building was a priority project in the grant scheme . Billy Murphy, Director of development for Cruden Homes then went onto explain how the building was repaired and restored, highligthing some of the problems that were successfully overcome, resulting in a scheme that has restored and brought the building back to life.

The leaflet which explains the scheme is down loadable on the down loads section of the website.

Photos of some of the team members at the event......the strange looking footware is the protective covering over shoes to avoid newly laid carpets from getting dirty!!!!!


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The Dalkeith THI and CARS is now coming towards the end of it's third year when all the building grant schemes have to be agreed.

The Dalkeith THI and CARS Project Team have to date awarded grants to 18 buildings and 28 owners.

The schemes currently on site are now nearing completion:

75,77,79-81 High Street is entering it's final phase.  For a description of the work see previous report below.


Before work started                           After                                                          81 Shopfront before


   P1010359 800x600       P1010962 800x600        81 Shopfront before work

81 Shopfront after.


81 Shopfront after work complete

 87-89 is also nearing completion:

Before:                                             After:


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1-3 Musselburgh Road is now complete:

Before rear:                                             After rear:                                          Before front


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After front :


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The frontage of 41 High Street is complete with new shopfront:

Before work:                                    After :

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 Nos 104-114 High Street is also near completion:


Before work:                                  After work:                                     Before work:                                After work

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Before work:                                   After work:

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Dalkeith High Street Improvements now complete:

High Street Before:                            High Street After:

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The schemes that have just been awarded grant aid are:

132-134 High Street:

This is a priority 1 building in the High Street , one of the Tail Street corner buildings, which together with the opposite corner building forms a pair.These are three storey stone tenement buildings dating from the early 19th century.

A grant has been awarded to repair and where needed replace the weathered stone on the upper floor together with roof repairs, refurbishment of windows and rain water goods.

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21-27 High Street :

This is a mid terrace , double fronted stone, 2 storey with attic building in the High Street dating from the late 19th century. The grant has been awarded to repair and restore the stonework, reinstate the lost central chimney and left hand upper floor stone mullioned window, repair the roof and rain water goods , repair and restore the dormer windows and other sash and case windows and repair and restore the orginal "with love" shop frontage and repair the stonework to the rear pend area.

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Previous approved grants:


Two priority projects, the former Cross Keys Hotel and The Tolbooth.  Three priority buidings, 69-71 High Street (WH Smith) and 15-17 High Street and shop front improvements to 4-8 High Street (Boom Barbers and the Nail Bar).

Donald Marshall, Chair of the Dalkeith THI/CARS Project Team says "The grant aid will enable the owners to repair and restore their buildings; bringing historic buildings back into good order and the work will also assist with the regeneration of the town centre.  These are priority schemes within the Dalkeith THI/CARS and will make a positive difference to the High Street".


Brief description of the schemes

The Cross Keys

This is an important listed building that has been vacant for a number of years.  The condition of the building has deteriorated and dry rot had taken hold on the ground floor, spreading to the staircase and upper floors.  The building has now been purchased by a new owner and planning permission and listed building consent obtained to restore and convert the building to commercial use on the ground floor with flats above.  The grant aid has been awarded towards the careful repair and restoration of this important building which dates from 1804.

Cross Keys:

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The Tolbooth

The Tolbooth is one of Dalkeith's oldest buildings and has a colourful history.  It was once the jail and courthouse and then a customs facility for the payment of goods related to the market in the town.  The building was once maintained through money raised on the tolls on bridges over the North and South Esk.  The last man to be executed here was William Thomson who was hanged for highway robbery in 1827, stones in front of the building mark the site of the gibbet.

The building is owned by St Mary's Church and grants have been obtained from a number of sources including the Dalkeith THI/CARS to repair the building.  Grants have been obtained from: The Leche Trust, The Wolfson Foundation, The Dalrymple Donaldson Fund and WREN Heritage Grant Fund.  Dalkeith Business Renewal is providing the Third Party Funding to release the grant from WREN.

The Tolbooth has suffered some unsympathetic repair work in the past with hard cement render being smeared over the face of the ashlar stones on the front elevation.  The rear wall which has hard cement render also needs repair and the cement taken off and replaced with traditional lime harling.

The repair to the stonework is a key component of the scheme.  This work is essential to avoid further decay and to ensure that the original fabric of the building survives for the future.

The Tolbooth:

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69-71 High Street (WH Smith)

This is a key double fronted building facing the junction between High Street and South Street.  It is very prominent in the street and seen in long views as one travels up South Street.

The scheme is to repair the stonework, rebuild one of the chimneys, repair and repaint all the windows and provide a new shop front, refurbishing the original detailing along the shop fascia.  This building is typical of many of the mid 19th century buildings that existed in Dalkeith but now only a few remain.

It was once called Manchester House and many people in the town remember it as a lively general store.  Now it continues to serve the population of the town having the post office and WH Smith.

WHSmith, 69-71 High Street:

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15-17 High Street

This is a traditional stone 2 storey mid terrace building in the High Street with a shop on the ground floor and flats above.  It is a listed building in poor condition and the interesting semi circular stair turret at the rear is suffering from water penetration, the sandstone is weathered and hard cement pointing has been used which has aggravated the problem.  The grant will restore the building and partially rebuild the stair turret in matching stone.

15-17 High Street , front elevation:       Rear view:

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4-8 High Street

These are two shop fronts at the southern end of the High Street near to the junction with Buccleuch Street and the Old Edinburgh Road.

No 4 High Street, the Nail Bar has an unusual chrome/stainless steel shop front which dates from the 1960's which will be restored and enhanced.  No 8 High Street (Boom Barbers) retains it original shop front, three vertical divisions between stone columns, with the middle being the shop entrance.  The original stone string course will be revealed and new window frames and door will be provided.

No 4 High Street shopfront :            No 8 High Street shopfront:

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All these projects will help to revitalise the High Street.

The owner of the Opticians shop, (No 41 High Street), Mr Graham Roberts together with Midlothian Councillor Alex Bennett (also Board Member of Dalkeith Business Renewal), Donald Marshall, Chair of the Dalkeith THI/CARS Project Team and the joiner for the scheme Gary McLay pose for their photographs outside the front of the shop.

This is the first grant scheme in the High Street to be complete and shows what can be achieved with sensitive design. The shop front has been replaced with timber frame with pilasters and new fascia and brackets. New timber sash and case windows have been installed on the upper floors and the whole of the front facade repainted. The architect for the scheme John Forbes who is based in Dalkeith is also working on other grant schemes in the High Street.



Before                                           After                                            Photos outside the shop

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                                                                                                        From left to right:Alex Bennett, Donald Marshall,

                                                                                                        Graham Roberts and Gary McLay.

The THI/CARS Project Team have awarded a grant to 104-106,108-110,110a-114 High Street. These are three tenement, three storey priority 1 buildings in the High Street opposite the junction with the Edinburgh Road. They are in poor condition and the grant is for repair and restoration of roofs, walls, front and rear, renewal/replacement of rainwater goods, repairs to chimneys, repair of existing windows and new timber sash and case windows where the existing can't be repaired.  The important shopfront to 106 will be restored as part of the scheme.  All three buildings are listed as being of architectural and historic importance. The Project Team felt that the scheme would achieve a significant improvement to this part of the street, opposite the main entrance to the town centre from the north along the Edinburgh Road.


104-106,108-110,110a-114 High Street.                        Architect's drawing of scheme

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