PRINCE Charles’ Regeneration Trust today pledged its support to the only bid submitted to Perth and Kinross Council to save Perth City Hall, one of Scotland’s most iconic concert venues, from the wrecking ball.
Perth City Market Trust has formally submitted its ambitious proposals to transform the Edwardian B-listed building into a destination shopping centre - an indoor market and food hall - to spearhead the drive to establish Perth as Scotland’s food capital.
Last year the Prince’s Regeneration Trust joined the Scottish Civic Trust and Save Britain’s Heritage to help save the 102-year-old city landmark from the threat of demolition. The council’s plan to raze the building to the ground was put on hold while alternative proposals were submitted to the council.
The council announced earlier this week that the authority had received only one bid in relation to the marketing for sale of Perth City Hall.
And today, in a joint statement from the market trust and the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, a spokesman announced: “PCMT’s vision is to return the City Hall to civic use, and regenerate the centre of Perth through redeveloping the City Hall as a high-quality covered market food hall. The project will see Perth develop as the ‘Food Capital of Scotland’ with the new Perth City Market offering fresh food from local producers. It would promote opportunities for local businesses and create a lively and vibrant atmosphere in the heart of the city.
“On the mezzanine floor a Skills Hub would provide training and employment opportunities for young people in food production, marketing and retailing. A destination restaurant would serve up top-quality local produce on the rooftop, and food retailers and a café would be located on the ground floor where new openings in the building façade would connect the street with the Market Hall. “
The spokesman continued: “PCMT’s strong vision has attracted the support of the Prince’s Regeneration Trust, a charity supporting local groups to rescue historic buildings and reuse them for the benefit of the wider community.
“The Prince’s Regeneration Trust has worked in an advisory capacity, and together the organisations put forward a detailed development proposal for the project. PCMT is also working with a number of other Prince’s charities, including Scottish Business in the Community and the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, with the shared aim of regenerating Perth, creating a vibrant place with a strengthened economy.”
Ros Kerslake, chief executive of The Prince’s Regeneration Trust, said: “This presents a huge opportunity for Perth to develop as Scotland’s food capital. It’s a chance for the city to retain a historic building, showcase its food culture, draw in visitors and boost local trade. We are delighted to be able to use our extensive experience of community and heritage regeneration to support this project.”
Bruce Linton, PCMT’s chairman, said: “We are delighted that our bid has been received. We look forward to the next stage, working with the council and Jones Lang LaSalle (the council’s agents) to develop the project further with our partners.’”
Jane Wood, chief executive of Scottish Business in the Community, said: “Any City initiative that creates an infrastructure of sustainable opportunities and support to small businesses is positive as it will also create opportunities within the employment, skills and environmental agendas for the local community, the Perth City Market Trust proposal is a great example of this.”