Back­ing for He­roes mu­seum

Evening Express (City Final) - - Front Page - BY ADELE MERSON

PLANS to re­open one of Aberdeen’s old­est build­ings as a mu­seum fea­tur­ing a Hall of He­roes have taken a ma­jor step for­ward.

An ap­pli­ca­tion for con­sent to al­ter, re­pair and re­move parts of the cat­e­gory A-listed Provost Skene’s House was lodged with Aberdeen City Coun­cil in May. The plans, which have been ap­proved on the lo­cal au­thor­ity’s plan­ning por­tal, are a step for­ward for multi-mil­lion-pound plans to trans­form the cen­turies-old build­ing into a tourist at­trac­tion. Aberdeen City Coun­cil co-leader Dou­glas Lums­den said: “I am de­lighted Provost Skene’s House has re­ceived the nec­es­sary plan­ning per­mis­sion re­quired to up­grade the in­te­rior of the house. “The build­ing com­ple­ments Marischal Square and the ad­min­is­tra­tion will now move for­ward with the up­grade to in­clude the Aberdeen Hall of He­roes which the pub­lic de­ter­mined in a poll.” Aberdeen City Coun­cil chiefs hope to re­open Provost Skene’s House, built in 1545 and now in­cor­po­rated into the Marischal Square com­plex, as a Hall of He­roes cel­e­brat­ing the city’s finest sons and daugh­ters. The line-up for the ex­hi­bi­tion was an­nounced in 2017 with nearly 2,000 peo­ple tak­ing part in a pub­lic poll. A to­tal of 50 fa­mous faces will be cel­e­brated through­out the his­toric build­ing in­clud­ing An­nie Len­nox and De­nis Law. The plans were orig­i­nally costed at around £1.5 mil­lion, and the mu­seum was due to open along­side the rest of the fa­cil­i­ties at Marischal Square last year. But the pro­ject is one of many across the city which has been hit by de­lays and in Feb­ru­ary it was an­nounced the at­trac­tion was sched­uled to open in the win­ter of 2019-20. Doc­u­ments show plans for many mi­nor works through­out the 16th-cen­tury home in­clud­ing re­mov­ing the mod­ern kitchen area and freezer room in­side the build­ing – which was used as a mu­seum show­ing what life in Aberdeen was like in the 17th, 18th and 19th cen­turies – and cre­at­ing new toi­lets, a re­cep­tion and gift shop. There are also pro­pos­als to carry out ceil­ing re­pairs, clean ex­ist­ing fire­places, re­pair the win­dows and fix wa­ter-dam­aged plas­ter­work and ma­sonry. His­toric En­vi­ron­ment Scot­land have not ob­jected to the plans as long as “ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures” are put in place to safe­guard the build­ing dur­ing and after the restora­tion works. Aberdeen Cen­tral MSP Kevin Ste­wart pre­vi­ously said he feared the pro­pos­als would go too far and al­ter too much of the his­toric build­ing’s struc­ture, adding the pro­ject looked “less like a re­fur­bish­ment and more like a re­build”.

An artist’s im­pres­sion of the Hall of He­roes which is to be built in­side Provost Skene’s House

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