Manx National Heritage is asking members of the public for their views on potential future uses for the iconic Baillie Scott Police Station in Castletown.
The unique building, famed for its conical roof, was designed by the world-renowned Arts & Crafts master, Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott, over the period 1899-1901 and was one of his last works to be completed on the Isle of Man before he left for the UK.
The structure, which has registered building status, is being purchased by Manx National Heritage to preserve it for the nation.
A working police station until 2017, it was built using the same stone as Castle Rushen and also features handmade ironwork from a foundry in the town. It retains many of its original features including its formidable Victorian cells.
Manx National Heritage is now canvassing opinions on how the building could be used to benefit residents, local businesses and visitors to Castletown. A short survey, available online and in print, will capture opinions and will also seek to understand the public view on the preservation of historical buildings and how this should be funded.
Director of Manx National Heritage, Edmund Southworth said –
“While we have committed to safeguarding the building for the future, we are keen to find out if there is local support for using the building for commercial or community purposes. The Baillie Scott Police Station is a landmark building and a huge part of the social history and architectural fabric of Castletown.”
“Although Manx National Heritage does not have funds to develop it as a tourist attraction, we recognise that many people would like to see it remain an active building. We are now looking for ideas that would enhance its contribution to the town and which would be complementary and sympathetic to the design and layout of the building. Above all, we are looking for suggestions as to how such use could be sustainably funded.”
Finally he added;
“This is a chance for everyone to express their views and suggest ideas. I hope that people will take this opportunity to have a say about how this wonderful structure should – or should not – be used, bearing in mind its registered status and the need to be self-financing.”
The consultation will run for one month, closing on Monday 14th October 2019.
Manx National Heritage will be holding a number of open days to allow people to see inside the property. These will take place each Friday and Saturday from 11am to 3pm during the consultation period. No booking is required.