WORK is now underway to restore the Clackmannan Tolbooth after Clackmannanshire Council invested nearly £300,000 in repair works.

The council has set aside £280,000 to restore the Category A listed building, with additional funding of £125,000 provided by Historic Environment Scotland.

The planned repair works for Clackmannan’s historic site will include stone works, roof replacement and refurbishment of the clock, bell and weathervane.

Repair works are expected to last for a period of five months and the council is aiming to have the project completed by October.

Provost Donald Balsillie visited the Clackmannan Tolbooth site, which is now surrounded by scaffolding, alongside children from the nearby Clackmannan Primary School.

Commenting on the project, he said: “I am very happy to see work beginning on this important project.

“The tolbooth is a much loved landmark for the people of Clackmannan, as well as being of outstanding national interest.

“I was particularly pleased to learn that the bell and clock will be restored in Alloa by local tradespeople.

“The council is pleased to be driving forward this restoration work with the support of Historic Environment Scotland to ensure it remains an important landmark in the years ahead.”

The Clackmannan Tolbooth was originally erected in 1592, with the belfry tower visible today built around 1680.

The project was started when William Menteith, sheriff of Clackmannan, presented a petition to Parliament requesting that a tolbooth be built.

This was done as he and his predecessors had been obliged to hold courts in the open air and to keep prisoners in his hous3.

An act passed on June 5, 1592 authorising the construction of the tolbooth and the collection of taxes to pay for it.

A bell was run at the tolbooth every evening from 1765 until 1939 and by 1792, the tolbooth was said to be a ‘heap of ruins’.

The main part of the tolbooth was most likely demolished around 1822 when the Clackmannanshire Sheriff Court transferred to Alloa, with only partial remains left standing today.

Dr Susan O’Connor, head of grants at HES, added: “Clackmannan Tolbooth has been at the centre of this community for centuries and HES is proud to support the restoration works so it can continue to tell its story, now and in the future.

“Our grant programmes support a huge range of projects and it’s particularly meaningful to contribute to a site like this where only a number of contemporary examples remain.”