A Dumfries and Galloway church built in 1865 as a Free Church before becoming a Roman Catholic Chapel in 1876 has been awarded £43,197 by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) for a project to transform it into a performance arts venue.

The B-listed St Joseph’s Church in Creetown is being redeveloped by The Creetown Building Preservation Trust as part of a £324,697 project.

This funding by HES has been awarded as part of the heritage body’s Historic Environment Repair Grant programme which supports works to buildings or ancient monuments which are of special architectural, historic or archaeological significance across Scotland.

The project will redevelop St Joseph’s Church into a multi-use performance arts venue for the local community. Within the building there will be rehearsal and meeting space for local groups, and the Creetown Silver Band, who have practiced in the Church for 130 years, will continue to use the building.

Amy Eastwood, Head of Grants at HES, said:

“We’re pleased to support Creetown Building Preservation Trust with £43,197 for their redevelopment project of St Joseph’s Church. It’s fantastic that this historic building will be brought back into full-time public use for the local community to enjoy.”

Andrew Ward, Senior Project Manager at Creetown Building Preservation Trust, said:

“Creetown Building Preservation Trust are delighted that HES are contributing to the restoration of St Joseph’s Church. The new performance centre will bring benefit to people of all ages from Creetown and the surrounding area.

“The former church is an important building which has served and been part of the communities’ lives for generations. It sits in an important position as it looks over looks the late Hideo Furuta designed village square. In the future this will enable joint events and activities to take place using both facilities. Saving this historic building is, in itself, important, however, giving it a new life and purpose is perhaps even more important and the benefit it will bring will make a difference to people in Creetown and surrounding area for many years to come.”

The Historic Environment Repair Grant programme offers grants from £10,000 to £500,000 to support conservation-standard repair projects across Scotland which secure the original fabric of historic buildings and ancient monuments using traditional materials and skills.

Applications for the Historic Environment Repair Grant are open throughout the year and are considered in three batches. The next closing date is Tuesday 31 December.

Find out more about HES grants