Historic Forres landmarks get permission for £110k lighting project

A plan to illuminate three of Forres’s historic landmarks is progressing after being granted planning permission and partial funding.

The Forres Heritage Trust want to light up the town’s Tolbooth and Mercat Cross in the town centre, as well as Nelson’s tower on Cluny Hill. They believe it will attract more visitors and be a beacon for the town. The trust has committed to consider archaeological and environmental implications in the work.

It has so far received £50,000 towards the total cost of £110,000 from Berry Burn Community Fund, Forres Features and the Gordon and Ena Baxter Foundation.

Trustee Bill Budge said: “Illuminating Nelson’s Tower, the Tolbooth and the Mercat Cross throughout the year will develop them into a beacon, advertising their presence to all and will encourage increased visitor numbers.”

Beacons for Forres to enjoy

Trustee Bob James added: “These buildings are part of Forres’ rich history and lighting them up will make them a beacon and encourage interest and tourism for the buildings themselves but also create a feature for the people of Forres to enjoy.

“To complete the project we will need around £111,000 in total, so whilst these donations are significant, the Trust is still exploring ways to secure the rest of the money required to make this happen.”

Mr Budge said they have already carried out an ecology survey: “This established that we will not disturb the bats, their roosts, foraging routes or the type of lighting we use. Furthermore, we will have to have an archaeological watch over any trenches we may need to dig around the tolbooth and cross as the town has medieval origins and we need to record any finds.

“Forres Heritage Trust consider that the historical importance of Nelson’s Tower, the Tolbooth and Mercat Cross, fully justifies its decision to embark on a course to illuminate each building. The lighting will be controlled by sophisticated technology allowing buildings to be illuminated in appropriate colour schemes to reflect such events as Armistice Day, St Andrews Day, Macmillan Cancer, Christmas Day, to name but a few.”

Picture shows Nelson’s Tower (left), illuminated for Colours of Cluny in 2016 and the Tolbooth, lit up for World Polio Day in 2021.

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1 thought on “Historic Forres landmarks get permission for £110k lighting project”

  1. I so dislike the idea of Nelson’s tower permanently diturbing the natural peace of Cluny woods by bright lighting. Sorry about it.


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