Dr James Mackay, Kirkmichael
Nominated for Category A. This award recognises volunteers and professionals, individuals and groups who have rescued a historic building.
Without Jim Mackay, Kirkmichael, a mediaeval church on the Black Isle, would just be a tragic pile of rubble by now. Despite being a Scheduled Ancient Monument and Listed Building, the building had degenerated into ruinous dereliction, surrounded by ugly security fencing to prevent public access. It has now been transformed to its rightful position as a heritage and community gem. Jim and the Trustees have repeatedly undertaken impossibly heavy and technically challenging tasks which would daunt professionals, including inventing bespoke pieces of equipment necessary, for example, to the moving of tombstones which may weigh over a ton. The Trust has already shared its expertise with other community groups who wish to undertake similar projects and has become the most tremendous resource both for the Highlands and for Scotland.