Tolbooth, Mercat Cross and Nelson's Tower are being lit up by Forres Heritage Trust to mark occasions and generate interest in the history of the town's most prominent buildings
Easier access to your trusted, local news. Subscribe to a digital package and support local news publishing.
WORK has started on lighting up three historic monuments in Forres.
Forres Heritage Trust (FHT) is illuminating Nelson’s Tower, the Tolbooth and the Mercat Cross to encourage interest in local history from residents and visitors.
The project is being led by trustees Bill Budge and Bob James who, as well as working with consultants and architects, have helped secure £110k funding.
Mr James said: “This project has been a long time in the planning and it’s great to see it progressing. These buildings are part of Forres’ rich history - lighting them up will encourage tourism.”
Interior wiring projects at the Tolbooth and Nelson’s Tower are underway. External groundworks will begin later this month to enable the Tolbooth and the Mercat Cross illuminations. A small area between the buildings has been cordoned off to allow for the work which is expected to finish by Thursday, October 26. The contractor is accompanied by an archaeologist due to the buildings’ historical significance.
Mr James made assurances that lighting up the tower and Tolbooth will each use less than a quarter of the power of a domestic kettle.
“The Mercat Cross about a tenth,” he added. “The planned running time for the lights will be less than 30 per cent of the total annual hours of darkness in Forres, with the majority of the lights going out at 10pm. There will be no light spill as these lights are precision, made-to-order for each location.”
Funds were secured from Forres Features Limited, Berry Burn Community Fund, The Budge Foundation, The Ena and Gordon Baxter Foundation and Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.
Mr Budge said: “FHT requires professionals who know not just how to light up so essential features can be fully appreciated, but also so that minimal disturbance will occur to these listed buildings. We are grateful to the funders who have granted money to us so generously. We have been working closely with lighting design specialists RYBKA and award-winning LDN Architects. Both have been involved in projects which have strong heritage connections. What they are producing for our fantastic town is truly something special.”
Lighting up the tower, Tolbooth and cross was part of a public consultation during Moray Council’s strategic plan. The buildings will be illuminated in appropriate colour schemes to reflect events including Armistice Day, St Andrew’s Day, Macmillan Cancer Care, Christmas Day, to name but a few.
Mr Budge finished: “Illuminating Nelson’s Tower, the Tolbooth and the Mercat Cross throughout the year will develop them into a beacon.”