We were engaged by the Ballachulish Community Trust to undertake an update survey on the condition of the Ballachulish Slateworkers Boat Sheds, after a kind referral from Andrew Wright. The community had identified Architectural Heritage Fund support to undertake a Viability Report considering the buildings for repair and restoration as a community activity and retail centre.
The commission involved a detailed condition appraisal of each of the ten sheds, their associated walls and the piers, breakwaters and other subtle remnant structures around the bay. The Ballachulish Boat Sheds are listed and are a very important remnant of the slate quarries within the area, but they now lie on the Buildings at Risk Register. The beaches are made up solely of slate dressings. The sheds constructed purely of slate to house the small boats that transported the roofing material from shore to larger boats that shipped to market.
The resultant report identified a number of prioritised recommendations and outline costs. This assessed where works could be delivered by local volunteers or where trade or specialist skills were required. It provided specific information as to where immediate consolidation works were needed to prevent further loss and hold the structures while potential future development plans were brought forward.
The report findings sat along side community feasibility assessments on future use within the AHF funded Viability Report. This looked in detail at the potential use models for the buildings and the location, and the research will act as a precursor to a potential Heritage Lottery Fund Stage 1 Application.