Levelling Up Fund
Aberdeenshire Council’s £20m bid to the UK Government’s Levelling Up Fund for the Banff and Buchan constituency has been successful. The bid is called Cultural Tides: North Sea Connections in Aberdeenshire and focuses on the renovation and extension of Macduff Marine Aquarium and the development of a cultural quarter in Peterhead centred around the vacant Arbuthnot House.
Macduff Marine Aquarium
A significant modernisation of the existing aquarium at Macduff is set to improve the visitor experience and include expanded exhibits and enhanced facilities. A spectacular two-storey extension will aim take advantage of coastal views and include a new cafe restaurant, education suite and community space. The £5.7 million project also involves an external revamp of the building, a new children’s play area and path links along the coastline.
Peterhead Cultural Quarter
The £18 million project will revitalise the heart of Peterhead by transforming the disused Arbuthnot House into a new destination museum and cultural hub. The historic building is to be sensitively restored and complemented by a striking new extension housing both the town’s library and a new regional museum showcasing Aberdeenshire’s extensive historical collections and artwork.
Multi-purpose and workshop spaces are intended to support participation and learning, whilst a new dedicated facility is set to attract temporary national exhibitions. The facility is also to include a cafe and restaurant with views of the harbour, and the building’s former walled garden will be transformed into a new public green space.
The existing Arbuthnot Museum and Library building on the town’s St Peter Street is to be restored and converted into a new cultural venue with a live entertainment space as well as dance and music studios on the upper floor.