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New vision for historic Moray town centre landmark

Keith Institute was built in 1886.
Keith Institute was built in 1886.

A landmark in a Moray town centre is poised to be refurbished to create a retail unit and flats.

The Keith Institute has been a focal point in the community since the 1880s with its octagonal clock tower visible above surrounding buildings.

The B-listed Victorian building has previously been used as a library, lecture hall, restaurant and was most recently council offices until they were closed in 2012.

Now the Mid Street landmark is to begin a new chapter in its history after local businessman Barry Fettes bought it from the local authority early last year.

Plans have already been approved to convert the front of the building into a shop and three two-bedroom flats.

Now new proposals have been sent to planners to convert the rear of the building into four additional flats.

Documents submitted to Moray Council planners by agents Colin Thompson Chartered Architect explained only minor alterations would be needed to exterior of the building.

They add: “The Institute has lay unoccupied for a number of years now. Without regular use or maintenance, the building is showing signs of deterioration.

“It is felt that the proposed change of use and associated sympathetic alterations to the building are a positive step towards ensuring the continued use and preservation of this historic landmark building within the Mid Street Keith conservation area.”

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