Perth Civic Trust
Perth Civic Trust is an association of people who share a concern and an interest in the built and natural environment of Perth. It was founded in 1967 following widespread public dismay over the demolition of various historic buildings in the town – most notably the Earl of Kinnoull’s lodgings in the Watergate and the Old Ferry house at Bridgend. We are one of the oldest and largest organisations of this kind in Scotland and currently have over 300 members, including more than 20 corporate members.
Our concern is for Perth’s built heritage – but that can include open spaces too.
Not only do we care about old buildings, we try to influence new buildings – the heritage of the future. These are things which define the character of a place.
One of our earliest successes was the saving of the Old Waterworks, now the Fergusson Gallery. The local authority had determined to demolish it but after persistent lobbying and persuasion it was saved and became the Tourist Information Centre. It is now home to work of the artist J.D. Fergusson and has recently undergone extensive conservation and restoration work. Perth Civic Trust uses a drawing of the Waterworks as its logo.
How Do We Make Our Concerns Known?
New planning applications are examined and comments sent to Perth and Kinross Planning Department. We have meetings with Council Officers about long term proposals and the two councillors on the Executive Committee enable us to have an exchange of views and information.
For many years the Trust organised a biennial architectural competition, alternating between new buildings and restored buildings. Winners included Gillies Furniture Store, Toll House Gardens, Greyfriars Burial Ground and the Nelson Street Housing Development.
Keeping Members Informed
Apart from the obvious things like our Annual General Meeting, with a speaker, we have organised local wals and outings to places of interest.
There have also been special meetings about topical issues and these are often open to the general public as well as members – so you can bring your friends.
We also keep in touch with the Scottish Civic Trust and other amenity groups.
Why Does It Matter?
As you go around Perth, look at the buildings you pass. You may get some strange looks if you stand and gaze upwards, but there are interesting details above eye level. Look for carved stonework and window details. There are also things to be seen under your feet, such as tiled shop entrances and iron drainage features. Think about what the street names mean. All these features contribute to to the character of Perth and they could be easily lost if we are not vigilant.
Think about which buildings you would be sorry to lose and which ones are important to you and become a member of the Trust so that we can make our voice stronger.