A HERITAGE Lottery Fund (HLF) grant of almost £10 million has been awarded for the redevelopment of an art gallery.
The £30 million scheme to improve Aberdeen Art Gallery, Cowdray Hall and Memorial Court secured planning permission and listed building consent last autumn, and has won the backing of Historic Scotland.
Aberdeen City Council has already committed £10 million from its non-housing capital fund towards the overall cost of the project.
The local authority has also agreed to underwrite a public and philanthropic fundraising campaign for the remaining £10 million needed.
Aberdeen City Council leader councillor Jenny Laing said: “I am thoroughly delighted that HLF has supported the scheme with this sizeable capital grant - the only one to be awarded in Scotland in the latest round of awards.
“Investment in the art gallery and its collections will ensure that this great city’s artistic heritage is protected and enhanced for many years to come.
“We are now embarking upon the fund-raising campaign to raise the rest of the capital funding required.
“I would urge organisations, businesses and individuals to invest in the much-loved Aberdeen gallery and the wider project so that they can say that this project was something they themselves helped to make happen.”
Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “HLF is delighted to support this transformational project which will give the north-east of Scotland a world-class cultural centre worthy of the exceptional artworks it will house.
“This substantial investment reflects HLF’s aims of increasing cultural opportunities across the country and creating new ways for people to engage with their heritage.
“This historic building will bring the past up-to-date with dynamic displays and contemporary interpretation.
“It will not only attract more tourists to the area but will benefit the wider community as they explore and enjoy their rich heritage in a gallery of which they can be proud.”
The project involves new educational facilities to create opportunities for people to learn more about the arts and the planned sensitive upgrading of the Cowdray Hall will create a new performance space for audiences and performers.
The council said the war memorial will also be carefully treated to reflect both its role as a space for quiet contemplation and as a civic space to honour the sacrifices made on behalf of the community.
The programme for the construction and fit-out works to the Art Gallery and Cowdray Hall will enable the buildings to re-open in 2017.