Coming Events


Monday, 29th April 2019
Brodick Library

All welcome


Previous Events

Monday, September 22nd 2014 7:30pm - Brodick Hall

Arran Civic Trust invited Stuart West to present a talk on Conservation and Heritage in Planning. Please click here for more details or here to see the event poster.


Tuesday, April 1st 2014 7:00pm - AGM

The 2014 AGM will be followed at 7:30pm by a talk about "Arran's Architecture" from Simon Green of RCAHMS. Please click here for more details.


July 23rd 2013 - Arran Civic Trust AGM

Please click here for the report of the 2013 AGM.


May 27th 2013 - Lamlash

The Blue Plaque for Donald McKelvie, sponsored by the Coop, was unveiled. Please click here for the report.


February 5th 2013 - Anne and Ian Hope

Knockroon, a sustainable mixed-use development.


Earlier Events

For events prior to 2013 please visit our archives page.


Welcome to the website of Arran Civic Trust. The Trust has 50 members most of whom live on Arran. Our aim is to encourage an interest in Arran's architecture both past and present. The island has buildings which are either architecturally or historically significant or both. By drawing attention to what is good in our built heritage we hope to encourage its preservation and at the same time advocate good design in our new buildings, particularly domestic housing which is greatly needed on the island.

Far from having an exclusive, specialist interest we want to bring Arran's past alive and contribute to its future by developing a public consciousness of good design. We try to do this through publications, public lectures and outings to places of interest as well as monitoring planning procedures on the island and making objections or commenting where appropriate. We work through a small committee who meet once a month. New Trust members and people with skills to contribute are welcome.

J Inglis, chairman.


ACT activities in 2018-19

We have made representations on a number of planning issue. In particular, together with the Community Council, Visit Arran. the Arran Economic Forum, and a number of individuals we argued against the proposed development of the Maclaren site in Brodick. Unfortunately North Ayrshire Council chose to ignore strong local opinions and the changes have been approved. Whilst recognising that the Maclaren site must be dealt with, we feel the approved plans are out of keeping with the front at Brodick and are a lost opportunity to improve the area.

Our book, The Buildings of Arran, continues to attract interest and sales on the boat and in local shops are continuing at a steady rate. We are continuing work on what will be a companion book about the ‘Interiors of Arran’. We have a great deal of excellent pictures and text. It will showcase that huge range of interesting and unique features to be found all over the island. Publication is planned for later this year.

Ian Ferguson, a long standing member of our committee, has researched the history of a number of buildings on the island which are now abandoned and decaying. His work covering farmsteads on the Ross Road and the barking sheds at Lochranza was published in the Banner. You can read the report here. We will, provided we can get the appropriate consents, to put up signs near to these sites. The aim is to stimulate interest and support for conversing these historical sites.

We have arranged talks this year, but we are planning that during 2019 we will have expert speakers on both the Castle and Alexander James Burnett, the architect of many of Arran’s churches and larger houses.

We have also met the Arran Economic Forum. We had much in common with them, recognising that development should be sensitive and that there is a need for good, affordable housing. We will seek to develop this relationship and to influence development strategies for the island.



On Monday 22nd September, Arran Civic Trust has invited Stuart West to present a talk on Conservation and Heritage in Planning. Stuart is the manager of the Development and Marine Planning function at Orkney Islands Council, where he has lived for the past eight years. He studied archaeology at Manchester University where he focused on prehistoric Britain and the Atlantic Fringe of Europe, later studying Architectural Conservation at Edinburgh College of Art and was Orkney's Conservation and Heritage Planner prior to taking on his present role in 2012. He has worked in Planning for the past ten years and is presently the joint-chair of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site Management Board and the Chair of Heads of Planning Scotland Development Planning Committee. He oversees the cyclical production and review of the Orkney Local Development Plan.

Orkney has 19 inhabited isles, a population of 21,500 in 11,400 households; 622 listed buildings, 347 scheduled monuments and 6 existing conservation areas plus 1 World Heritage site. There is a huge legacy including WW1 and WW2 sites at Scapa Flow. Orkney has strong Parish settlement communities.

There is a settlement pattern and crofting pattern with traditional rural housing. In 2010 the Local Development Plan was updated with the production of the 2010 Proposed Plan and the policies regarding the housing in the countryside were revised. Local Lists of significant structures are currently being produced. The current policy means that buildings of historic merit are no longer eligible for 1:1 replacement. Supplementary Guidance has been introduced which defines historic merit in Orkney and includes the following types of buildings and structures:

  1. Vernacular
  2. Traditional construction - natural materials: stone, earth, clay, slate and timber. In 1830 steamers started to come bringing Caithness stone and Welsh slate
  3. Non traditional buildings and structures - mainly wartime
  4. Other buildings and structures on Historic Scotland’s own statutory lists

A CORE PRINCIPLE in the supplementary guidance is that the retention and preservation of buildings, which feature on Orkney local list, will be encouraged. This should avoid demolition of significant buildings. An example is illustrated below of before and after renovation, a project, which was also a recipient of a Council Heritage Grant.

! !

Prior to the 2010 review 1:1 replacement was allowed, so many local buildings had been replaced by kit houses etc, destroying the local character. This was raised as a concern by local community groups and societies and resulted in the change in policy.

Stuart will focus on how development planning has effectively preserved cultural heritage sites in Orkney, and will examine Orkney's rich cultural heritage, from the World Heritage Site down to the buildings and structures on the local list, and will demonstrate how planning policies and guidance have been utilised to ensure that these important assets are effectively protected for the enjoyment of future generations.

Stuart’s talk is at 7.30pm MONDAY 22nd SEPTEMBER at BRODICK HALL. Anyone interested is most welcome, and there will be coffee after the talk and questions.


Arran Civic Trust
The wealth of artistry and craftsmanship in Arran buildings

Recently the Civic Trust published a book “Buildings of Arran” documenting interesting buildings on a circular tour of the island. It represents a small catalogue of the island’s architecture. The Trust would like to continue by photographing interesting artifacts, fittings and appliances in the interiors of Arran homes. There is a rich vein of interesting items which should be photographed before they are lost or replaced. Each year, as houses are altered, renovated and completely modernised some beautiful fittings are lost forever. They are as much a part of the island’s heritage as its architecture.

No pictureOriginal fittings of all types both decorative and functional could include door knobs, finger- plates, fireplaces, stained glass, light fittings, fitted furniture, interesting woodwork, tiles and more. Even items not original to the house but with a particular period flavour or merely an interesting “one off” would be worth recording. Many items are not “art” inspired but may be functional, durable and well made by local craftsmen. Humble items tend to be unnoticed partly because they’ve fulfilled a function for over a hundred years and yet they may be well designed and deserving of recognition.

No pictureThe Trust would like to photograph these and document them with a short description. To do this we’d appreciate the help of Arran people by informing us of anything worth recording and offering us the chance to photograph it. In any publication individual houses would not be identified and confidentiality assured.

You can see some more of the pictures on the "Projects" page.

If you’d be willing to let us photograph in your home (or you may be able to photograph things yourself and send them on) please get back to the Trust through me 810659 or or the address below.

John Inglis (chairman)
Red House
High Corrie




Last site update:-

2019-05-19 23:01

The Arran Civic Trust is a registered Scottish charity, number 023504 and is affiliated to The Scottish Civic Trust