The ambitious £27 million Perth Museum project will open on Easter Weekend, in March 2024, bringing a world-class cultural and heritage attraction to Perth city centre.
Following several years of debate around the future of Perth’s iconic City Hall, an agreement was reached in 2016 to ringfence a significant investment of £30 million capital expenditure to create a new Museum within the historic building and support a refresh of Perth Art Gallery.
The £27 million investment in what would become known as Perth Museum, includes £17 million from the Council and £10 million through the Tay Cities Region Deal.
Following a rigorous procurement process, award-winning architects, Mecanoo, were awarded the design contract, and BAM was appointed as the main contractor for the development. Building work commenced in early 2020 and was completed earlier this year with object install already underway. Doors will open to the public on Easter Weekend, in March 2024.
Culturally and Historically Significant
Once open, the Museum will offer visitors a world-class, fully accessible, and captivating experience that inspires them to explore Scotland’s past and its connection to the wider world through its display of exceptional objects representing natural history, archaeology, social history, and world cultures.
A bid to move the Stone of Destiny from Edinburgh Castle to Perth succeeded and was announced in December 2020. Returning to Perth and Kinross for the first time in 700 years, the Stone, also known as the Stone of Scone, will be the centrepiece of the new Museum and will be free for all to view.
Alongside the Stone, Perth Museum’s displays will explore how the city and wider area has shaped Scotland’s ancient roots and the creation of a modern nation. Drawn from one of the oldest public collections in the country, the permanent displays will include archaeological material that gives a unique window into local life since the end of the Ice Age, 10,000 years ago, taking in the Bronze Age, the Picts, the kingdom of Alba, and the medieval city of Perth.
Jacobite objects will give unique insights into the influential role of the region during the Jacobite rebellion. The earliest material exploring natural history and world cultures was collected at the end of the 18th century, and social history objects will shine a light on 20th century developments right up to more recent objects reflecting modern Perth.
Helen Smout, Chief Executive, Culture Perth & Kinross, said, “Perth Museum will open its doors to the public on Easter Weekend 2024. Over the next five months we will be getting ready to share some of the incredible objects and stories from our collection in a completely new way. The transformation of the old City Hall has created a world-class visitor attraction and the perfect heritage setting for a new conversation about Perth’s central role throughout Scotland’s history, with the Stone of Destiny at its heart.
“This ambitious project has created a new Museum that everyone in the region can take great pride in and will attract a whole new audience to visit Perth.”
Long Term Economic and Social Impact
It is estimated that Perth Museum’s aim to grow the regional visitor economy and address the gaps in the local tourism offer, will quickly come to fruition. Expected to attract an additional 167,000 visitors to Perth by year three and increase overnight staying visitors by 3% year on year, the Museum is a welcome addition to Perth’s growing cultural scene.
Longer term, it is hoped that Perth Museum will play a role in tackling the low productivity in the area’s cultural sector; the average GVA per creative sector job in Perth is significantly lower than the national level at £41,471, compared to £56,268 nationally. Within ten years, gross visitor expenditure should reach £101m producing a GVA of £25.4m at local level and £10.2m Scotland level.
As well as the direct spend, evidence shows that assets such as Perth Museum enhance the overall appeal of an area, contributing to quality of life and igniting a sense of civic pride. An excellent example of this is the increased cultural participation opportunities such as the artist commission to commemorate the impact of the Jacobite Risings and the Clearances on Highland Perthshire, to be co-created with local communities.
The project will create 19 direct employment opportunities, with an additional 37 jobs in construction.
A partnership from its outset, between Perth & Kinross Council and the UK government through the Tay Cities Region Deal, Perth Museum will be managed long term by Culture Perth and Kinross.
Once Perth Museum is open, Culture Perth and Kinross will build upon their engagement with the national and international travel trade market offering a dynamic programme of unique experiences for group and individual travellers.
In doing so, the Museum is marking Perth and Kinross as an outstanding tourist destination and contributing to the ongoing creation of itineraries by Scotland’s Tay Country, a collaborative venture between the local authorities of Perth & Kinross, Dundee, Angus and Fife together with VisitScotland.
Councillor Grant Laing, Leader of Perth & Kinross Council, said “The Perth Museum project has always been a collaboration, with key partners working together to ensure that the ambitious vision for the city, and the economic potential, is fully realised.
“A landmark attraction, the significant increase in visitors from across the UK and internationally offers real opportunity for retail, hospitality, and other tourism businesses, both in the city centre and further afield. Importantly, it presents a compelling reason for new business and inward investment.”
With the opening of Perth Museum in March 2024, Culture Perth and Kinross has launched a range of sponsorship packages for both local and national brands. Sponsorship will further extend the reach and impact of the venue by assisting in:
- Developing the region as a vibrant tourist attraction, generating over £25m return of investment into the area over 10 years.
- Unlocking the impact of local heritage – improving wellbeing and addressing inequalities for everyone who visits.
- Preserving over 500,000 objects held by Perth Museum.
- Enabling Culture PK to develop a schools and learning programme.
- Creating jobs and career development opportunities.
Benefits of sponsoring include:
- Opportunities to Promote Your Brand
- Embedding your brand within high-footfall spaces relevant to your customers.
- Crediting you in our direct and digital marketing campaigns, including outdoor signage.
- Support-in-kind for themed events and activities relevant to your target audiences.
- Media Profiling
- Inclusion in social media campaigns and the online platform.
- Credit throughout social media and local press.
- Quotes from your business where relevant in the media.
- Corporate Hospitality and Employee Benefits
- Opportunities for corporate venue hire.
- Complimentary tickets to blockbuster exhibitions and events.
- Exclusive group behind-the-scenes tours and talks.
Contact Robin Patel, Fundraising Officer, to learn more: