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24 January 2019

First steel erected as work continues on ‘box’ at the Hill House in Helensburgh

Hill House milestone reached

The first major milestone has been reached in the pioneering project designed to save The Hill House in Helensburgh. Robertson is currently constructing a unique mesh 'box' around the building, which is regarded as Charles Rennie Mackintosh's domestic masterpiece.

The National Trust for Scotland has embarked on the ambitious project in an effort to protect the building from the elements ahead of a programme of extensive refurbishment to protect it for future generations.

And now, the first of the steel mesh frame has been erected around the building – with a crane weighing 100 tonnes arriving on site this week to carry out the heavy lifting.

Ed Parry, Managing Director, Robertson Central West, said: "Since starting on site in November last year we have been laying the groundwork for this important milestone. It was an exciting moment for everyone involved in the project to see the crane arrive and for the first part of the steel structure to be put in place.

"This is a hugely important project and one that is genuinely unique – we look forward to keeping the public up to date with continued progress and to delivering on the National Trust for Scotland's vision for The Hill House."

The National Trust for Scotland launched a 'Box The Hill House' campaign in February 2018, which aimed to raise £1.5m towards the total cost of the 'Box' – to date, more than £1.2m has been raised, with fundraising continuing.

Richard Williams, General Manager for Glasgow and West at the National Trust for Scotland, said: "Seeing the box take shape is an extraordinary feeling and a significant milestone in our charity's rescue effort to save The Hill House.

"After years of planning we can really start to see the scale of what we're doing here, for the love of the building and where it stands in the history of Scottish architecture."

The Hill House project, being delivered by Robertson, was procured through Scape Venture, a collaborative procurement consultancy and construction route, which supports public/private partnerships and the charity sector achieve best value in their programmes of work.

Mark Robinson, Scape Group chief executive, said: 'It is great to see another milestone reached at this innovative project to conserve and protect The Hill House.

"Scape Venture is specifically designed to promote efficient outcomes for charities, and by using our framework the National Trust Scotland is ensuring it receives the best value for money. Our collaborative and transparent approach facilitates success for every project, and is supported by an extensive local supply chain which will support the local economic development agenda beyond the build process."

Donations to the 'Box The Hill House' appeal can be made online at: