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Restoration of the Slains Castle

Introduction

Slains castle is at least the historical memorial of Medieval Scotland. Originally, this castle is the notable place for tourists, for historians and for the archeologists. The castle stands on a windswept cliff and faces the Cruden Bay in the North-East of Scotland. It was the family castle of the noble Errols family. During this time the castle grew and changed its appearance, reflected differing architectural styles. Nowadays, it is ruined, and the ruins are totally gutted by fire at least 100 years ago. Cruden Bay itself is the significant historical place with impressive legends and stories hidden in it. The name Cruden is Gaelic for ‘defeat of the Danes’‑ a massive and cruel battle which took place here and lasted over a week when a Viking invasion fleet landed in the year 1012. The Scots won the battle, however at a great cost – they had to sign the peace treaty for trade between the Danes and the Scots. The 16th century castle stands on high cliffs overlooking the North Sea. The castle was defended by the sea cliffs to the north, a gorge to the west, and a walled rampart to the south. The castle has been renovated and extended over the centuries with the most recent reconstruction in 1836 when it was rebuilt and granite faced. (Wormald, 2003)

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Another significant story linked with this castle is that Bram Stoker was inspired for his “Dracula” novel by Slains. Its isolation from the town, the possibility for brooding in the dark have played significant role for the world literature.

The rationale for the project is closely linked with the fact that there is strong necessity to restore the cultural inheritance of the European history. In recent decades European States have experiences essential growth in the educational professions. The governments are extremely anxious on the matters of cultural decline, and the fact that the castles and the churches all over Europe are subjected to ruining significantly because of time and erosion.

Over the centuries, British Castles have shaped a rich and colorful history. The castle may be restored as the luxurious Five star hotel in the atmosphere of Count Dracula’s castle. Or it can be rebuilt it and subdivided it into a series of luxury flats. Both variants would be correct if there is a necessity to restore the castle and revive the atmosphere of Stoker’s Dracula, or the spirit of Scottish castles. The rationale will also entail the emphasis of the fact that tourism is one of the most beneficial investments among legal business spheres, consequently, if the castle is restored, tourists all over the world would aim to visit the atmospheric place and feel themselves as Jonathans Harkers or Minas Murreys. Not only tourists but also admirers of the novel will inevitably visit the castle and spend several nights in the place, where the character of Count Dracula was created. (Scotland, Birthplace of Dracula, 2008)

Definition of the Project

The objectives of the project would entail the restoration of the building and creation of interior of the castle. Originally, the restoration of the atmosphere requires study of the former interior and the replication of the decorations from Dracula’s castle. The objectives of performing the project entail the reasons that it is the perspective and beneficial investment, which would help to increase the touristic admiration and attractiveness of Scotland, especially for those who are keen on visiting different castles and taking part in topical parties. (Frame, 2002)

Originally, it is necessary to mention that the required resources will be rapidly returned. The fact is that most people will be ruled by mere curiosity, the fear of vampires and the wish to see at least one. The restoration of the castle will symbolize the restoration of history and the atmosphere of 19th century Scotland.

The deliverables of the project would entail the reconstruction of the walls, as they are essentially windswept, decoration works of the interior, creation of the infrastructure, employment of technical and management personnel, launching of the advertising campaign. These deliverables would require thorough management and careful planning, as such a large-scale project should take into account all the details possible. Consequently, there is no need to economize on the management team – professionals should be hired. (Howes, 2001)

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Summary of the main considerations, assumptions and constraints

The considerations of the problem will entail the creation of the restoration plan and overcoming of the shortcomings of the plan. Surely, it will be impossible to deal without troubles and shortcomings, consequently the plan should take into account options and variations of the mainline of the restoration.

Inspection of the materials is the first step in the preparation process. For that purpose the Restoration Management Team should use the integrated scheme of action, which presupposes the using of the single tactics and principles of cooperation. Originally, the required tactics entail not only inspection of the management process and the restoration efforts, but also the requirement for option finding and analysis of the following tactics: thus the preparation for the restoration would entail inspection of the purchase of the materials, computer modeling and thorough investigation of the 3-d model, assuming the positions of the decoration elements, internal planning of the rooms (depending on the selected variant, the planning will differ)and thinking over the most probable obstacles, linked with difficulties of transportation of the materials, failures of the terms, natural disasters, etc.

The constraints of the project entail the undeveloped infrastructure, and the necessity to create it from the very beginning. There is no road suitable for the heavy trucks which will carry the construction materials, consequently, road construction should be the initial step for the reconstruction process. Location of the castle is featured with the difficult conditions of the building, as the castle stands on the rocky cliff, which is subjected to wind sweeping and erosion because of the sea.

Business Case for the Development of the Project

Criteria

In order to start the performance of the project, it would be necessary to define the system of the criteria. The project will be regarded as successful if it will be designed to fulfill all the requirements (at least 95%) within 36 months. The walls should be totally restored, the decorations should have all the central components and provide the impression of the completed restoration (i.e. there should be no discomforts associated with the uncompleted restoration process). The infrastructure should be completed, as in spite of the atmosphere, guests should not feel separated from the rest of the world and feel free in their communications. They should be free to take shower and use water closets.

As for the project management, the criteria should be the following:

  • Managers are obliged to react flexibly on the challenges,
  • Be able to offer quick response in the case of troubleshooting
  • Perform clear decision making process
  • Define the possible problems beforehand
  • Be mobile
  • Be ready to change the profile of the activity rapidly

The latter point should be incorporated in the plan for the case of unforeseen circumstances, when some team member appears to be unable to perform his or her tasks.

Functional benchmark entails the system of the criteria of the performance process. There is no necessity to mention that this process should be thoroughly planned, as it goes without saying. The process itself should be without unplanned delays, if only some technological or natural disasters occur and stop the restoration.

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Schedule

  • Wall restoration – 30% of the time
  • Planning of the rooms and internal walls construction – 20%
  • Infrastructure (part 1: road, tubes, electricity) – 15%
  • Decoration – 30%
  • Infrastructure (part 2: IT communications) – 15%
  • Employment and training – 10%
  • Advertising Campaign – not less than 50%

This schedule exceed the frames of 100%, however, it is necessary to mention that this scheduling is not consecutive. Thus, wall restoration and internal planning may be arranged simultaneously. Decoration process and creation of the infrastructure part 2 may be launched parallel to each other. Employment and training of the management and technical personnel may be held at any time and at any phase of the restoration process. Advertisement campaign is totally independent from the allover phase, however, the main part of this phase should be aimed at the conclusion of the allover process.

Financial Planning

The financial planning is not less significant than the scheduling of the process, however, the proportions will be quite different.

  • Wall restoration – 8% of the financial resources
  • Planning of the rooms and internal walls construction – 5%
  • Infrastructure (part 1: road, tubes, electricity) – 15%
  • Decoration – 20%
  • Infrastructure (part 2: IT communications) – 7%
  • Employment and training – 15%
  • Advertising Campaign – not less than 20%
  • Management of the project – 10%
  • Project Development Plan

Specifications

The specifications of the project entail the necessity to create the atmospheric place with up-to-date commodities. Originally it is rather difficult task, as the guests should feel themselves far from civilization (Dracula could not live in a place close to other people and filled with electric light, Wi-Fi spots and cell communication), on the other hand guests should be able to access internet in the case of necessity and keep in touch with the surrounding world. (Labrosse, 2007)

Specifications are also closely linked with the natural conditions of the location. It will be rather difficult to keep the project in the time frames during the first phase, as the location on the rocky cliff would essentially disturb the reconstruction process (building or reconstruction on the too firm surfaces as well as too soft is regarded as difficult).

Plan Objectives

The objectives of the plan were discussed in the plan definition chapter. The development of these objectives would require thorough planning, and accurate performance of the scheduling plan.

Scope

The same may be stated about the scope. Originally, it depends on the aims of the customer, and performing organization brings it into the life. The aim of the customer is to restore the castle and create a palace for tourists. The steps, which are required for this, are described above.

Project Deliverables

The deliverables of the project entail the reconstruction of the walls, decoration works of the interior, creation of the infrastructure, employment of technical and management personnel, launching of the advertising campaign.

Project Organization

Project structure
Project structure

Roles and responsibilities

The roles and responsibilities should be initially allocated on the stage of planning and take into account the possibility of flexibility and violation of the plan. Consequently, the process of role allocation should be arranged with aim at unforeseen changes.

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Methodology

The methodology of the project should be aimed at quick and effective performance of the project. Force Majors are required to be overcome as the standard obstacles, and the fact of terms violation just simply can not be allowed.

  • Consider the possible systems of work and choose the most appropriate for the situation
  • The starting point for consideration must be procedures that have been agreed in pre-planning and training.
  • Ensure that personnel are competent to carry out the tasks that they have been allocated (Frame, 2005)

Controls

The controlling process of the plan performance will be performed by the management team. Customer should be liberated from any anxieties on the matters of control. The team controls the process on every stage and prepares the report on every phase of the process. Thus, customer makes the evaluation of the process basing on the reports.

Communication

Communication process is arranged on the basis of constant (weekly) reports with the final reports every month and every year. This would allow customer fully control the process of restoration. As for the subsidiary agencies which are responsible for construction and decoration material delivery, these companies should just perform their obligations and get payment. This process does not require deep communication.

Risk Assessment

Risk assessment process is a complex approach of defining probable obstacles and troubles, which is required to take into account all the factors and obstacles which were faced during the similar projects and evaluate possible problems of the current project.

For successful risk assessment it will be necessary to perform the following steps:

  1. Look for hazards, i.e. what can cause harm. Walk around the workplace and talk to the employees (be realistic and only include those hazards which would result in injury).
  2. Decide who might be harmed and how. Consider the employees, visitors, contractors and members of the public.
  3. Evaluate whether the risk associated with each hazard is significant and decide what precautions can be taken to eliminate or reduce the risk.
  4. Decide who might be harmed and how. Consider the employees, visitors, contractors and members of the public.

General Categories of Hazard which should be taken into consideration:

  1. Mechanical: cutting, crushing, trapping
  2. Access: slips, trips and falls
  3. Electrical: poor damaged wiring, wet conditions
  4. Chemicals: battery acid, bleach
  5. Fire: poor housekeeping
  6. Environmental: noise, light, temperature, humidity.

Conclusion

The restoration of notable places requires essential efforts and immense financial resources. The fact is that, the restoration process of the Slains is featured with numerous difficulties troubles and risks. All possible constraints are described in the corresponding chapters, and the risks may be identified on the place and during the process. The financial planning which is provided is rather approximate, as the detailed planning would require the estimation of the object, the volumes of the required works and the terms which will be really provided for the implementation of the plan.

All the factors, such as Communication, Control, Roles and Responsibilities and Methodology are defined; however, the detailed definition will depend on the amount and qualification profile of the team members.

As for the project development as a process, it is necessary to mention that the development and assessment of all the objectives is held with taking into consideration all the variants possible. The only factor, which may provide the other objectives is the modification of the initial conditions of the project. Thus, the requirements are performed and the project is thoroughly planned.

References

Frame, J. Davidson. The New Project Management: Tools for an Age of Rapid Change, Complexity, and Other Business Realities. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2002.

Frame, J. Davidson. Project Management Competence: Building Key Skills for Individuals, Teams, and Organizations. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2005.

Howes, Norman R. Modern Project Management: Successfully Integrating Project Management Knowledge Areas and Processes. New York: AMACOM, 2001.

Labrosse, Michelle. “Project Management: Best Practices for the Public Sector Organizations Can Use a Standard System of Simple Techniques-Embedding Project Management Best Practices-To Boost Personal and Collaborative Productivity.” The Public Manager 36.2 (2007): 25

Mantini, Anna. “Castle Keep.” The Architectural Review Nov. 1998: 78.

Medieval Scotland: Crown, Lordship and Community: Essays Presented to G.W.S Barrow. Ed. Alexander Grant and Keith J. Stringer. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1998.

“SCOTLAND, BIRTHPLACE OF DRACULA; Sinister: Christopher Lee as Dracula. Left Slains Castle.” The Daily Mail (London, England) 2008: 42.

Wormald, Jenny. Lords and Men in Scotland: Bonds of Manrent, 1442-1603. Edinburgh: John Donald, 2003.

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StudyCorgi. "Restoration of the Slains Castle." October 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/restoration-of-the-slains-castle/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Restoration of the Slains Castle." October 30, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/restoration-of-the-slains-castle/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Restoration of the Slains Castle'. 30 October.

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