Since our last update, things have moved on a pace with the redevelopment team.
We successfully recruited a Project Co-ordinator – Richard Moody, who joined us in the Spring. With a background in risk management and a keen interest in history, he is a welcome addition to the team. From March, he has helped us to streamline our reporting and is pivotal in our communications between all members of the redevelopment project.
Beginning in January, Dr. Aaron Watson has been working with us as Interpretation and Engagement Manager. Using his extensive knowledge of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, and special interest in rock art, he is a key member of the Interpretation team.
At this point (and in spite of Covid-19) we have contractors and companies working on the project to help us achieve the key milestones set out below. Mainly working from home using video conferencing, email, ‘phones and the internet, they have been able to stay on track with their work and help us make progress.
Most colleagues at the Museum have been furloughed as the Museum, its Shop and Café were closed in line with Government requirements. Keeping the project moving is helping us to “think forward” to when we will be able to open the Museum’s doors again and our colleagues return to work.
RIBA Stage 4
Prior to the lockdown, we held successful meetings to iron out structural and detailed design points with the architectural design team. The last of these involved a visit to Reiach & Halls’ offices in Edinburgh to choose finishes for everything from flooring to door handles. Since then we have been able to finalise aspects of the design via Zoom meetings, ably led by the Capital Programme Manager Andrew Pinkerton. The final costed project will be brought to a stage where it can be put out to building companies for tender. However, at this point in time, we remain cautious about rushing forward, due to uncertainty in the building trade.
The first part of the exhibition design has been completed and we have put out to tender the design and build element of the project. Our interpretation project manager Lyndsey Clark has been crucial in pushing forward the recruitment process and in managing the interpretation aspects of the project. This has been a difficult time, as one of the main contributors to this has been furloughed and the Director/Curator, Sharon Webb, has had to concentrate her efforts on responding to the effects of Coronavirus on the whole Museum.
Our trustees, funders and supporters are vital to our project and we are keeping everyone informed as best we can – thank you for your ongoing support in there challenging times.