Rebuild of historic city clock to cost nearly £1m after unexpected demolition

The destruction of the Christie Clock sparked anger among Stirling residents.

Rebuild of Stirling’s historic Christie Clock to cost nearly £1m after unexpected demolition Barry Hughes

A historic clock that was demolished unexpectedly in Stirling’s town centre will cost nearly £1m to fix, a council has confirmed.

In August 2023, the 117-year-old Christie Memorial Clock was found to be unstable when it was inspected by structural engineers as part of a routine maintenance regime.

Stirling Council said the structure’s lack of stability resulted in both the clock head and tower being demolished.

However, locals criticised the destruction of the clock and claimed it had been removed with no warning.

A council report commissioned immediately after stated the authority “would need to reinstate” the structure.

The night of the demolition. Barry Hughes via Barry Hughes

Stirling councillors will be asked to approve the reinstatement of the listed landmark, and the £873,000 repair bill along with an £100,000 contingency allowance, at a meeting on Thursday.

But according to officers, there is “no budget” for the work and members will be asked to consider dipping into reserves, and will also be asked to consider borrowing money to fund the project.

The paper to be tabled at the meeting, states: “The cost of reinstatement of the Christie Clock will need to be met by the council. There is currently no budget allocation of this project.

“Therefore council will need to agree the funding for this prior to the project progressing.

The Christie Clock will take an estimated 18 months to rebuild. Stirling Council

“The cost of this could be funded from council reserves spread over the two financial years of the project.

“Alternatively, the council could agree to fund the project through prudential borrowing.

“However, this would incur additional borrowing costs, increasing the overall cost to the council.

“The total cost estimate to replace the clock tower is £873,000, which includes a contingency allowance of £100,000 given the nature of the project and residual risks at this stage.

“The council will require to appoint specialist conservation consultants and contractors to undertake the restoration and conservation project and undertake the reconstruction works.”

The repair work – in three phases – could take 18 months.

An assessment following the incident stated that the salvaged stone is “in better condition than originally anticipated”.

It added: “There are a number of elements that have suffered significant damage and are beyond repair, in particular the clock column. These elements will require to be replaced with new components carved from new stone.

“However, the majority of stone components appear to be structurally competent and capable of being restored and the clock tower reconstructed.”

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