Work has started on a radical transformation of one of Cupar’s most iconic landmarks.
The distinctive pink Burgh Chambers in St Catherine Street has lain empty for a number of years and is now on the buildings ‘at risk’ register.
But by autumn it’s hoped that the B-listed property could be opening its doors to visitors in its new guise as a holiday let.
Kirkcaldy-based John Smart and Son has now been appointed as the main contractor and the erection of scaffolding was due to start this week.
Work will be begin in earnest in two to four weeks’ time to plans drawn up by the Cupar firm ARC Architects.
The building needs significant work to make it watertight and structurally safe and some ‘inappropriate previous alterations will be undone before the project to turn the building into holiday accommodation gets under way’.
ARC Architects plan to retain the historic character of the building as far as possible, refurbishing such features the clock faces, bell and weather vane.
The project is part of a £1.5 million investment earmarked to improve the town centre and is being carried out by Fife Historic Buildings Trust in conjunction with Fife Council.
The Trust held a public consultation on what should happen to the building and the idea of a holiday let proved to be the most popular option.
The new accommodation will include two en suite bedrooms, a living area and kitchen.
Built in 1815, the Burgh Chambers was originally designed as a meeting place for what was then Cupar Town Council. It was abandoned altogether more than 20 years ago when Fife Council became a unitary authority based in Glenrothes.
The work is due to be completed by October 1, and the contractors have promised to do everything possible to minimise disruption to those businesses directly affected.
Councillor Margaret Kennedy, who represents Cupar, said: “I’m delighted to be able to welcome the start of the works to enable the reincarnation of the Burgh Chambers. It is such an iconic building in the town and as such should be celebrated. I look forward eagerly to seeing the results of the works.”
She added that she would also support the businesses that will be most affected via the business association ABCD.