Bute engineer’s fountain project wins top prize

The restored Grand Fountain in Paisley. (Pic by Lenny Warren/Warren Media)
The restored Grand Fountain in Paisley. (Pic by Lenny Warren/Warren Media)

A restoration project led by a Bute-based engineer has won a top award from the UK’s Institute of Conservation.

The restoration of the Grand Fountain in Paisley, spearheaded by consultant engineer Jim Mitchell, who lives at St Ninian’s Bay on the west coast of the island, took home the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Award for the Conservation of an Industrial Heritage Artefact.

The restoration of the cast-iron fountain, which is Category A-listed, was a community-based partnership involving Renfrewshire Council, Historic Scotland, Lost Art and Industrial Heritage Consulting.

The judging panel said of the project: “[It] encapsulates the concept of engineering as both science and art, and provides a sense of pride and a feel-good factor.

“The people behind the restoration of this grand Victorian vision of civic joy demonstrate a belief that engineering enhances human well-being.”