Progress update 28.6.2023
The journey to restore, redevelop and repurpose the site of the historic Drummond Arms building has reached a new milestone. As you will see, scaffolding has been erected around the entire front facade of the building to increase the level of debris protection for the High Street. This will allow DARL, the regeneration company formed by Crieff Community Trust and tasked with ensuring that the future of the site has an outcome that is positive for both the community and the local economy, to continue to work with professional consultants and specialists to determine the most cost effective and beneficial way forward for the site, be that demolition, façade retention or complete building retention. At this stage the costs clearly favour retaining the High St and Hill St facades, with the roof removed.
Two important factors should be remembered in this part of the story. Crieff Community Trust is a community-based group who work to bring about improvements to the physical, economic, and social environment of their town, and the regeneration and repurposing of such an important building has become a major part of their work too. It has been a long and difficult journey for them however huge progress has been made and a successful outcome is now in sight.
Secondly, The Drummond Arms is a listed building. Being listed marks its special architectural and historic significance and protects it for current and future generations to enjoy. A building may be listed due to its age, its rarity, its aesthetic appeal or because it represents just a select few of its kind that are still standing. The Drummond is one and all of these. Consent for demolition of a listed building is only granted in exceptional circumstances and these do not yet exist in this case. Indeed, the very opposite is true.
There is now an opportunity to make the next stage of this extraordinary journey one that will see the building again welcome the local community, play host to visitors from afar, and become the heartbeat at the centre of the town once more. DARL are working closely with a preferred partner who have a proven track record of breathing life into old buildings and turning them into successful and thriving hospitality venues. An independent Scottish hospitality business, they are always keen to honour the legacy of the properties they take on and have a strong community ethos, creating hospitality experiences that have a positive and vital impact on people, whether team, customers, partners, or local communities. DARL believes that this potential partner has the vision and experience to take on a project such as the Drummond Arms, and of course it will take a strong partnership to bring this vision to reality.
Over 150 years ago the Drummond Arms opened its doors in the centre of Crieff. It was the place where thousands of locals and visitors would make memories that would stay with them forever. A place that was a major part of the economic fabric of the town, an iconic statue set against its skyline. A century and a half later it is looking ever more possible that these same doors could be opening once more and bringing with it a much needed economic and social improvement to Crieff. This new regeneration project would be modern and vibrant with a strong community focus as a necessary part of the building’s redevelopment. Something that will certainly reignite a passion for Crieff in both its inhabitants and tourists alike.