We knew the budget would be big, but not even I was prepared for some of these figures, though they are very rough. They’re based on pounds per metre squared, rule-of-thumb calculations on professional fees, and the type of VAT chargeable. We don’t yet have an accurate survey of the castle – still too dangerous inside I am afraid – but as soon as we do, I am expecting the detail on these figures to resolve.
Obviously with regard to the castle we’re looking at the Accommodation & Event option as our favoured route as this is the most sustainable. Frankly I am gobsmacked at the Victorian Restoration (Like-for-like) price – although this does include lime plaster with horse hair and lath and no plasterboard. You can see where that’s going. Consolidation as a Ruin is the cheapest option, but unfortunately, there’s little or no way of sustaining the borrowing on a roofless shell – albeit a very beautiful one.
The cost for the repair of the bridge is also significant, but at least with the prospect of funding via Historic Scotland, Heritage Lottery and others this might be achievable in the relatively short-term – particularly with the bicentenary coming up next year.
Does this leave you wanting to know more? Well the Conservation Plan for Dunans will be published very shortly (ISBN 978-1-910326-01-5), and you’ll be able to read a great deal more about the site, its history and our plans then… in the meantime, I am going off to write a business plan or three!