After securing charitable status and public liability insurance, one heritage group in Moray seeks to reopen a local landmark.
Earlier this year a heritage trust was formed in order to maintain and run Forres Tolbooth and Nelson’s Tower. The two historical buildings in Moray were no longer on the receiving end of any financial support from the town council, and the Forres Heritage Trust moved in to fill the funding gap.
The group now has public liability protection and status as a charitable group. This has resulted in moving forward its plans to reopen Forres Tolbooth to visitors.
The High Street property has been off-limits to the public for a protracted period of time. Its features include a courtroom and a clock tower. Once housing the police station and prison cells for the town, the building dates back to 1838.
John Mackenzie, chairman for the Forres Heritage Trust, stated that the building needs to undergo a survey. The Trust plans to ensure the proper maintenance of the building and also develop a relationship with the Forres Council in order to determine the fate of some items stored in storage at the facility.
Mr Mackenzie has stated that the pupil council of Forres Academy has contacted the Trust to arrange visits to the location. So too have students from Applegrove Primary. Both schools are interested in the historical significance of the locations.
A date early in January has been set for the Trust to meet with a liaison officer from the local council. There they will discuss strategies for moving the project forward.
Mr Mackenzie stated that Forres is one of the rare locations in Scotland where such old signifiers of the authority of the king are still present. The parish church, the castle, and the Tolbooth all need to be preserved for future generations, he added.