AN ANNOUNCEMENT is due today (Thursday) that Menstrie Castle is set to be taken down brick by brick and shipped from the Wee County to be rebuilt in Canada.

The bonds that link Clackmannanshire and Nova Scotia look set to become even stronger following the deal which will see the 400 year old building make its way across the Atlantic Ocean.

There have been several visits to Menstrie in recent years by Nova Scotia representatives keen to see the village where their province founder, Sir William Alexander, originated from.

During a visit by representatives of Nova Scotia in September 2009 Menstrie Gardens was renamed Nova Scotia Gardens.

Many felt at the time that the logical next step would be to take the castle, where Alexander was born, over to Canada following the renaming of gardens.

Work taking down the building is expected to begin in the next six months. Each brick will be individually numbered before being rebuilt across the pond by a team of world renowned lego and jigsaw experts.

When fully restored the castle will take pride of place in an environmentally friendly state-of-the-art complex.

It is hoped the rebuilt castle will be in place by 1 April next year.

Fred Whalen, Warden of King's County, told the Advertiser, "We in Kings County are thrilled by the prospect of moving Menstrie Castle to Kings County, Nova Scotia.

"It will fit in with our plans to build a new municipal complex and we will put up a new green structure with zero net energy usage and then reconstruct Menstrie Castle on the grounds of the new complex as a then and now demonstration.

He added, "We are very pleased that the opportunity was presented to us and we acted quickly to grab the opportunity before some other municipality in Nova Scotia tried to out manoeuvre us." This is not the first time the idea of moving Menstrie Castle has been put forward.

Plans were mooted in the 1950s to take the castle to Nova Scotia after the building had fallen into disrepair.

Fundraising did start at the time but the move never materialised.

The full financial settlement has still to be revealed, but the Advertiser has learned that, following the excitement that greeted the visit last year by a fully kitted out mountie to Alva Primary, a set of 10 mountie uniforms has been included in the deal.

Les Sharp, chairman of Menstrie Community Council, thought the decision to shift the castle was a win-win arrangement.

He said, "Following months of negotiations behind the scenes we, the Community Council, are delighted that Warden Whalen has finally achieved his lifelong goal to have Menstrie Castle in Nova Scotia.

"It is particularly relevant that the castle is going to where Sir William Alexander spent most of his days, we are also delighted with the fact that the current residential parts of the castle will be retained and be offered as time share properties for visits to Nova Scotia." Mr Sharp added, "Warden Whalen has very kindly offered a gratis apartment for the use of Community Councillors from Menstrie on visits to the country with flights being organised by the Governers of Nova Scotia for which we are very grateful." Miss Apreel Foole, from the Greater Clackmannanshire Castle and Tower Swapping Alliance, said that Menstrie could, in the future, find itself gaining another historical building in place of the castle.

She continued, "We are exploring the possibility of relocating Alloa Tower to Menstrie.

"If the relocation of Menstrie Castle to Nova Scotia is successful and runs smoothly, I can see no reason why the tower could not be taken to Menstrie - after all it's only up the road and not on another continent.

"We could then replace Alloa Tower with a giant bouncy castle in Alloa."