Work to reopen a Moray town’s clock tower to provide spectacular panoramic views from a landmark is making steady progress towards a tourist season opening next year.
The Tolbooth has stood in the heart of Forres for nearly 200 years and has been home to many celebrations as well as being a police station and prison.
The local heritage trust took over the landmark in 2013 after it was declared surplus to requirements by Moray Council.
Now scaffolding has been erected around the Tolbooth for phase two of the project to open up the walkway around the clocktower as a tourist attraction.
The project has received £9,375 from the Town Centre Regeneration Funding and £20,000 courtesy of the Berry Burn Community Fund.
The latest works involve fixing the leadworks and stonework pointing of the wall around the clocktower.
Already AJ Engineering has fabricated and installed a new internal steel stairway which will give access to the walkway.
George Alexander, chairman of the trust said : “The trust is working tirelessly to ensure the future of the Tolbooth and we have done extensive work internally to restore the court room and the old police office and cells amongst other works.
“However, this is the first time since the mid-1990s that any significant work has been carried out to the external part of the building.
“The walkway around the four faces of the clock is lined with lead supported by a wooden structure.
“Water has seeped in and the wood has rotted over time meaning the lead is sinking which will need replaced.
“We also need to clean out the joints between the stone blocks on the turret itself and put new mortar in place.”
Mr Alexander added: “We want to ensure that this building which has such huge historical significance for the town and indeed the region is looked after and therefore is here for many more years to come.”
“The end result of all of this work and investment is that we create a landmark that drives footfall to the town and Moray.”
He also paid tribute to John and Meg Mackenzie who established the heritage group to protect the landmark.
Work is hoped to be completed by next year’s tourist season.