OLD WEST KIRK AND HALLS

VIABILITY APPRAISAL

Scottish Redundant Churches Trust

Working alongside conservation architects Elder & Cannon, Jura Consultants is completing a Viability Assessment for Greenock’s Lyle Kirk Esplanade complex, including the Grade A listed Old West Kirk, Grade C listed Pirrie Hall and unlisted Youth Hall. The study was commissioned by the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust (SRCT) which is considering a potential transfer in ownership of the buildings from the Church of Scotland now that the Kirk is no longer used for regular worship. The outcome of this study will assist that decision.

 

The first church built in Scotland after the Reformation in the 16th Century (unusually in a cruciform design), then subsequently shifted from its original site stone by stone in the 1920s to make way for the expansion of Harland and Wolff’s shipyard, the Old West Kirk has a rich and unique history. The church also boasts a remarkable collection of stained glass windows, some of which are the work of internationally renowned artists of the Pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements. The only collection of its type in Scotland, these are recognised by The Scottish Stained Glass Symposium and the Scottish Stained Glass Trust as ‘of outstanding importance’ and ‘a major British programme of Victorian glass’.

 

The focus of the study has been to determine a sustainable way forward for the site that maintains public access to the nationally significant Kirk. The study team has considered a range of options for the site packaging together a variety of uses including space for community hire, arts studio, heritage visitor attraction and office space, assessing a short-list of three in terms of the sustainability, deliverability and desirability. The appraisal process was informed by a community consultation event attended by in excess of 150 local residents, Greenock visitors and stakeholders and has attracted local and national press interest.