Thursday, August 6th, 2015
We are delighted, almost beyond words to announce that our first-round application to Heritage Lottery Fund was successful and that we have secured their support for the Redevelopment Project.
Our total bid to HLF was for £3.5 million. £400,000 has been granted as Development Funding so that we can progress our plans in preparation for a round two application. Success with a second-round application will provide the remaining £3.1 million required to commence capital works in 2018. This would put us on course to reopen the new museum in 2020.
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:
“As people have come and gone over the centuries, the standing stones of Kilmartin have stood firm representing over 5000 years of Scottish history. Thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are delighted to support the development of a project which will transform Kilmartin Museum so that it can perform its vital role in interpreting and promoting this internationally important landscape.”
Our application was reviewed by the HLF Board of Trustees in competition with other heritage projects from across the UK. Their approval means that our project meets HLF criteria for funding and HLF believes the project has potential to deliver high-quality benefits and value for Lottery money.
Our own Trustee Chair Gordon Gray Stephens added: “We’re really pleased to have the support of HLF for our proposals. The Kilmartin Glen landscape is a gem that more people from Scotland and further afield will now be able to discover. We believe that the redevelopment will also create cultural and economic opportunities for Argyll.”
The Museum cares for some of Britain’s oldest Bronze Age and Neolithic artefacts dating back to at least 3,500 BC, some of which are unique. The 800 known prehistoric and historic monuments within 10 miles of the Museum include the world’s largest prehistoric cup and ring marked rock and Dunadd Fort, citadel of the Kings of the Scotti tribe from whom Scotland got its name.
The £6.5 million Redevelopment Project will transform existing buildings and safeguard the collections. New facilities will allow the Museum to provide exciting and creative ways for local people and visitors to connect with Argyll’s archaeology and natural heritage via a major programme of cultural events and activities.
Kilmartin Museum Director and Curator Dr Sharon Webb has been managing the project in addition to her day job running the Museum! Sharon said: “Kilmartin Museum is surrounded by a world-class prehistoric landscape and fantastic natural heritage. The Museum’s collection is of international importance and gives amazing insights into the lives of people who lived here. We now collect and care for most of the archaeological artefacts found in Argyll and we’ve outgrown our current facilities. We have the opportunity to gather Argyll’s archaeology in one place and ensure that it remains here. We are extremely grateful to HLF for this significant award, which along with help from our other supporters will safeguard the collections and bring significant benefit to the area. The Project will enable generations to enjoy the stories of the people who built the monuments and used the artefacts we’ve found in this wonderful place.”
Our next steps are to progress the exhibition, interior and exterior building plans, and activities ready for a second round submission. Oh yes, and the small matter of fundraising for the remainder of the project costs!
The Museum has a huge amount of local support and Argyll and Bute Council, Scottish Natural Heritage, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Forestry Commission Scotland have already contributed and pledged a significant amount of funding for the project. A major public fundraising campaign will also be launched in the coming months to secure the remainder of the match funding required.
Watch this space for more redevelopment news.