St Margaret’s Project Group and Scottish Redundant Churches Trust

St Margaret’s is a Category A Gothic Revival Church designed by the prominent Scottish architect Sir John Ninian Comper and is considered one of Scotland’s finest churches. Standing on a prominent, raised site overlooking the village of Braemar, St Margaret’s is an architectural highpoint and landmark within the village. St Margaret’s was last used for regular worship in 1997 and since 2003 has been on the Buildings at Risk Register. Jura Consultants was engaged by Scottish Redundant Churches Trust as owners of the building and the St Margaret’s Project Group to conduct an Options Appraisal study considering the redevelopment and reuse of St Margaret’s as a heritage and arts attraction capable of driving new audiences to Braemar. This was delivered over the course of two options appraisals testing the feasibility of two arts/ heritage concepts. Options Appraisal assessment criteria included deliverability, sustainability and desirability. It was imperative that the building design scheme responded to the optimum performance programme capable of supporting sustainable operation over the long term. By adopting a collaborative approach working with the project architects Simpson & Brown, our methodology ensured that both design and business case elements of the Options Appraisal process informed and supported each other together identifying the optimum way forward for St Margaret’s. The preferred option which emerged from the Options Appraisal was then subject to sensitivity testing before an action plan was produced setting out the way forward for the project over the short, medium and longer term.