The Port House


Completion Date:


Building owner/client:

Jedburgh Community Trust

Architect or lead designer:

LDN Architects

Local Authority Area:

Scottish Borders

Nominating Body:

Jedburgh Community Trust

Project Description

Jedburgh Community Trust is a charity which was formed in 2002, with the aim of preserving the built and natural heritage of Jedburgh. Jedburgh has 135 listed buildings within the conservation area and the Trust’s goal is to protect and restore these local heritage landmarks and buildings saving them from decay and reintroducing their value back into the community. The Port House is a very important heritage building in Jedburgh town centre and is the jewel in Jedburgh’s crown of JP Alison buildings.

Supporting Statement

Designed by prominent local Architect, JP Alison, the Port House is Category A listed meaning it is of National Importance. It is also located within the heart of the Jedburgh Conservation Area. Originally built as a Co-operative department store in 1899, the building was innovative in its construction for the time, incorporating a steel frame and curtain walling glazing, maximising light and retail space.
Despite its status, the Port House sadly became neglected and fell into disrepair in recent years. It suffered from extensive dry rot and its poor condition led to it being recognised on the Buildings At Risk Register for over a decade.
The transformation project involved archival research which allowed for its shop fronts to be reinstated to original details. All of the exterior fabric was restored in accordance with Historic Environment Scotland (HES) guidance and to the approval of the HES District Architect. The interiors have been fully refurbished and allow for serviced, flexible accommodation on each level. A lift has been installed for the first time, allowing full access to the first floor level for the first time.
The building is serviced by electricity only. Insulation and double glazing was installed where it was appropriate to do so and where budget allowed.
All works were carried out by skilled and local trades people and training was provided to the local community and beyond, though an online traditional skills outreach programme.
The restoration of the exterior fabric and shopfronts was carried out sensitively using traditional materials, enhancing the local Conservation Area.
This project has faced significant challenges - Restoration of a Category A listed building within a Conservation Area.
Complete refurbishment carried out within an extremely limited budget.
Construction work carried out by local contractor providing local employment.
Construction work carried out during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Traditional skills outreach programme carried out in collaboration with the Jedburgh Conservation Area Renewal Scheme.
LDN Architects appointed during 2019, with an anticipated site start of early 2020 in order to meet funding deadlines.
However the key challenge was COVID-19 Pandemic resulting in all meetings reverting to online and a delay to the site start. Despite this, thanks to close collaboration with the entire team, the works commenced onsite after the first lockdown.
We also had to amend works due to the pandemic and we sadly lost an important member of the Trust to Covid so we also lost his knowledge and input as we neared completion.
The Port House is now complete and we have two very suitable tenant businesses which are already proving to be the type of community benefit which the Trust had hoped for - The Bridge and Hometown Hub. Full details of the tenants can be provided.