Backing for Heroes museum
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