HSCIC was set up in 2009 to rescue and restore the listed station building at Helmsdale as a community project. As well as restoring the accommodation for holiday use, the station has been improved for passengers. Restoration has included bringing back into use the station waiting room which includes a small display covering the history of the building and advertising of local amenities to new arrivals. On the platform, the original 1871 glazed panel has been recreated in the end wall of the station canopy – bricked up for many years – which adds to the charm of this feature as well as giving passengers a better view of approaching trains from the shelter.
Because the original structure of the building was solid concrete, with poor thermal insulation, part of the restoration has been to line internally all external walls with 50mm of thermal insulation. Original skirting boards have been refitted, but unfortunately some of the internal woodwork of the original window frames has been hidden.
The project was highly commended in the 2014 Railway Heritage Awards, shortlisted for the 2015 Scottish Civic Trust Angel Awards and won the 2015 ACoRP Award for Innovation in Community Rail.
HSCIC is a community interest company limited by guarantee (company registration no. 07084801)
Directors: Alastair Cook, Alison Henderson, Michael Willmot
The Directors acknowledge with gratitude the project funders: Highland LEADER, the Railway Heritage Trust, the Stations Community Regeneration Fund and the East Sutherland & Edderton Ward Discretionary Grant Fund and also a number of local agencies and businesses which have generously donated time, advice and services:
- David R Sutherland (surveyor), Wick
- Gow’s Lybster Ltd
- Helmsdale Community Centre
- Local Development Officer, Helmsdale & District Development Trust
- Mackenzie & Cormack (solicitors), Tain
- Marmax Products
- Network Rail
- Timespan Museum & Arts Centre, Helmsdale
- Torrance Partnership (chartered surveyors), Invergordon
- William Munro Construction (Highland) Ltd, Alness