Kilmartin Museum can be found at the heart of Kilmartin Glen. This is a beautiful and ancient place with unique archaeology and natural heritage. This is mainland Scotland’s most important prehistoric landscape.
We have big plans to celebrate Kilmartin Glen and Argyll and secure the future of the Museum and its collection.
We aim to establish the Museum as a starting point for visitors to begin their exploration of the area’s natural and cultural heritage. We will dig and display so that you can discover how archaeology and the artefacts found here are used to tell the stories of this historic landscape.
This is an exciting opportunity. Kilmartin Museum would provide on-site research, finds processing and collection store facilities unsurpassed by other independent organisations in the UK. To help visitors to really understand and experience the landscape, they could also take part in Museum led excavations.
In its current form, the Museum does not have the space to deliver this vision. In fact it barely has the space to deliver its current activities. The museum gallery and it's internationally important collection is displayed in the unmanned, overcrowded basement of an old manse and there is no more space to display recent finds.
The Museum has a collection store full of amazing artefacts that change our knowledge of prehistoric Kilmartin and the story that the current museum gallery was designed to tell. Britain's earliest beaker pot was found here but is in storage because there isn't room to display it.
The collection store is overflowing and there is nowhere to process and store finds. If nothing is done about this situation, the Museum will have to stop excavating and collecting all the objects that other people find. Argyll's treasures will no longer be cared for or displayed in Argyll.
Educational visits present logistical challenges as there are no rooms big enough to accommodate a full class of children and evening events and talks are often held off site because there just isn't enough space.
The museum reception is located in a separate building, which is confusing for visitors and neither the reception or exhibition space can accommodate large groups of visitors. The facilities can no longer accommodate visitor numbers, or the staff and volunteers required to keep the museum running.
In a rural area, this type of independent organisation is vital for heritage conservation, education and economic benefits through employment, trade and attracting visitors to the area who will visit other attractions in Argyll.
By thinking big and achieving its goals, Kilmartin Museum can address these issues and provide an important cultural and economic resource for Argyll. A lot depends on Kilmartin Museum. It is at a cross roads and must act to ensure that the organisation evolves for the good of the collection, the landscape and the people who live here now.
We undertook a feasibility study to understand whether the current site and buildings could be redeveloped. The study found that development is feasible and that this is the best location given the landscape sensitivities.
Public funding was obtained to take the project to the next stage, including appointment of project staff and consultants.
The preparation of a Round 1 HLF application began and Reiach and Hall architects were appointed to produce Stage A/B design concept. A Digital Media Strategy, Business Plan update, work on an Interpretation Strategy and establishment of costs were also undertaken.
In December 2013, a Round 1 HLF application was submitted for £3.9 million (60% of the total £6.5 million project cost).
March 2014, HLF decision - Round 1 not awarded at this point. You can read more about this decision in the news update.
A new Funding strategy was produced and we began preparation for a re-submission. This involved actioning the Funding Strategy, realigning the Project Vision, interpretation and activity planning work, cost reduction and a revision of the architect's scheme.
We are continuing to work towards a Heritage Lottery Fund application. We have had many discussions and meetings with funders and are confident we have strategy in place to raise the required funding. We are also undertaking survey and consultation work to strengthen the projects’ vision and aims.
The Redevelopment Project is picking up pace with the recent appointment of Luing Consultancy Ltd as the Redevelopment Project Management Team. The team of five brings wide ranging and specialised skills that will cover all aspects of the next phase of development, taking it to the Round Two Heritage Lottery Fund Application planned for Summer 2017. Read more about Luing's appointment in the news update.