We are thrilled to announce that we have received a confirmed grant of £3.2 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for our Redevelopment Project!
The project aims to transform Kilmartin Museum into a landmark venue that interprets and celebrates the global significance of Kilmartin Glen, one of the most significant archaeological landscapes in Britain. As well as becoming a significant cultural and natural tourism centre, completion of the project will enable the Museum to be able to care for its collection of artefacts, some of which are of international significance.
Money raised by National Lottery players has enabled the project to take a massive leap towards becoming a reality.
Commenting from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Lucy Casot, Head of HLF in Scotland, said, “Kilmartin Glen is an internationally important landscape with over 5000 years of human history evident in the stones that stand there. We are delighted that, thanks to players of The National Lottery, we can support the development of the museum into a leading visitor attraction, interpreting and caring for this incredible Scottish heritage.”
Providing all the funding is in place, construction work will begin on the project in January 2019, with the aim of works being complete by the summer of 2020. Estimated site visitors will increase to 44,000 that year, whilst the redeveloped Museum will have an economic impact on Argyll as a whole of £5.8 million in its first year.
A major extension designed by award winning architects Reiach and Hall will join together the two existing buildings creating a seamless Museum facility. This will provide a much larger exhibition space giving exciting opportunities get more artefacts on display and tell many more visitors the story of Kilmartin Glen’s unique archaeological and natural heritage.
This project will ensure Kilmartin Museum has an international profile and it will become the must see archaeological attraction on the Scottish mainland, driving domestic and overseas tourism visits to Argyll and to Scotland. The new Museum will ensure that Kilmartin Glen gains the recognition it deserves and its larger scale and better flow will mean that more than twice as many people can experience its treasures, enjoy its stories and appreciate the important role it played in shaping the Scottish nation. The new Museum will continue to develop its local reputation as an invaluable community resource.
The education service aims to triple its current user numbers from 3,000 to 9,000 per annum due to better facilities and increased service capacity. Activities for students of all ages are planned and will transform Kilmartin Museum, enabling it to become Scotland’s national centre for excellence in archaeology.
Scottish Natural Heritage have awarded the Redevelopment Project £100K. Andrew Campbell, operations manager for Scottish Natural Heritage said, “This is excellent news. We are delighted to be able to put some money towards the redevelopment. It’s a great opportunity to build on the sterling work of the museum, connecting people with an area rich in nature, archaeology and beautiful scenery. Unlike many museums, the main source of Kilmartin’s exhibits can be seen directly through its windows, encouraging visitors to go and explore standing stones, cairns and the ancient woodlands of Taynish National Nature Reserve. We hope it will attract many more visitors to this part of Argyll and bring significant economic benefits to the area and the west coast.”
Crucially, the project will safeguard the archaeological collections in Argyll for future generations.
Commenting on the award, Dr Sharon Webb said, “We’re absolutely delighted after years of dedicated work on the part of the Museum staff and volunteer Trustees, that thanks to National Lottery players, we’ve received this support. The award means we’ve nearly reached our fundraising target, bringing the implementation of the project that much closer. Applications have been lodged for the remainder, but there is still a £100,000 funding gap, which we will be working on closing in the coming months. We are also very grateful to our other funders, including those individuals who have made donations. The support we have received is amazing. The project as a whole will enable us to properly care for the artefacts in our collections, and tell their stories interwoven with the sites and monuments in which they were found, as well as provide massive improvements to the visitor experience and the Museum’s education service. The local economy will also benefit. The award also represents well deserved and long overdue UK level recognition of Kilmartin Museum, our collections and of Mid Argyll’s unique cultural and natural heritage.”
For 21 years Kilmartin Museum has been discovering, caring for and sharing the stories of artefacts from this special place, which visitors can see in the context of the sites and monuments in which they were found. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, it will continue to do so whilst creating a hub worthy of telling the story of the internationally important archaeology and natural heritage of Mid Argyll.
In the coming months the staff and trustees at Kilmartin Museum will be working hard to reach their £100,000 funding target whilst preparing for the upcoming capital project. We are not quite there just yet, we still have a £100k funding gap that we have to raise by September. If you can help us, please have a look at our donation page.