Restoration work is bringing the 'Sugar Sheds' back into use with a new lease of life

One of Scotland's most iconic industrial buildings has been saved from the ravages of wind and rain.

Inverclyde's Sugar Warehouse - one of Scotland's biggest surviving cast iron and brick industrial buildings - was all but abandoned in the 1960s. But now, thanks to the multi-million pound redevelopment of James Watt Dock, it's looking forward to a new role. The 760-foot-long building's A-listing reflects its place in Greenock's once-thriving sugar industry.

The 18-month, £3.7 million project to make it wind and watertight, commissioned by James Watt Dock development partners Riverside Inverclyde and Clydeport, will be completed in November and lays the foundation for its future development. Known locally as the 'Sugar Sheds', the building has been earmarked to play host to events and exhibitions when the 2011 Tall Ships Race sails into Inverclyde. Afterwards, it's anticipated that the building may house a mixture of business, office residential and commercial spaces.

"Commercial ideas include shops, cafes and restaurants overlooking the marina and dock," said Clydeport's Brian Lavalette. "It could also have a cultural element and be the ideal location for a museum or other visitor attractions."

Ranald Macinnes, principle inspector at Historic Scotland, said the "incredible" building could become a great example of sustainability and show how historic buildings could play a part in revitalising communities in modern Scotland. The Sugar Warehouse was open to the public on Doors Open Day this year and proved so popular that the LLP intends to organise further tours for early 2010. Admission will be by ticket only and anyone interested in seeing round the building should contact Heather at Riverside Inverclyde on 01475 755 080.

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