Stunning images have revealed the scale of the work ongoing to restore the Poundland building in Elgin.
The High Street structure is in the process of being dismantled and rebuilt again after it was declared dangerous in May 2018 after water was allowed to pour in through the roof.
Progress on the ambitious project has been impossible for shoppers to see due to the protective barriers that have been erected.
However, now pictures from the Press and Journal can reveal just how much of the Victorian building has had to be taken away to make it safe.
Why is the Poundland work in Elgin needed?
Decades of neglect amid a lack of maintenance work brought the B-listed Poundland building in Elgin to the brink of collapse.
An assessment of the building blamed “inherent flaws” in the design of the structure for its plight.
However, experts believed a prolonged period of “inappropriate repairs”, a “lack of maintenance” and alterations, predominantly during its 70-year tenure as Woolworths, exacerbated the defects.
Water pouring through the roof into the lower floors is understood to have led to some parts of the building collapsing.
Retailer Poundland led efforts to save and restore the building – making the historic decision to make it the first store it has ever owned instead of leased to allow the works to proceed.
It was decided the only way to save the building was to dismantle it almost entirely before rebuilding it with a similar design.
The new building will have retail space on the ground floor but will have 17 flats on the upper levels.
How much longer will the work last?
It is understood work on the Elgin Poundland building is currently running on schedule.
The project has caused considerable disruption in the town centre since May 2018 due to North Street needing to be closed due to safety concerns.
Road closure notices published by Moray Council warn the work will continue until December 2022.
Elgin City South councillor John Divers, who is a director of Elgin’s business improvement district, said: “This was never going to be a quick fix, and you can see that now.
“I think once they got in there they realised more was needed than what they thought.
“This is obviously an issue that has had to be dealt with, but the end result will be something that will enhance the area.”