15 November 2022

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visits heritage and regeneration projects in Fraserburgh

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester visited the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in Fraserburgh earlier today (Tues, Nov 15) before seeing a number of key regeneration and commercial projects within the town.

HRH was welcomed to the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses by the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire Alexander Philip Manson and met by the Provost of Aberdeenshire Judy Whyte, Aberdeenshire Council Chief Executive Jim Savege and Leader Mark Findlater.

During a civic reception attended by council officers and local elected members, Lynda McGuigan, who has served as Museum Manager for eight years, introduced The Duke of Gloucester to representatives of Invercairn Gala Committee and Fraserburgh Heritage Centre.

Many organisations have shared an incredible £250,000 in funding thanks to the efforts of Invercairn Gala and the range of activities it hosts within the local community. In recognition of the committee’s charitable efforts it was awarded the prestigious 2020 QAVS Award and His Royal Highness presented David John McRobbie and Hannah Gray with the crystal award.

Fraserburgh Heritage Centre - represented by director and secretary Chris Reid – is still reeling from the significant damage caused to its collection when Storm Arwen struck in November 2021. The roof was destroyed and much of the collection had to be dried out and stored, however many irreplaceable items were lost.

During a tour of the Museum and Kinnaird Head Lighthouse, His Royal Highness was shown the nationally-significant collection of lighthouse lenses, artefacts and archives. The museum includes Kinnaird Head Castle and Lighthouse which has been preserved as the only manned lighthouse in the UK. The museum plays an important role within the area and the large number of visitors drawn to Fraserburgh from around the world brings with it jobs and opportunities both cultural and educational as well as many economic benefits to the town and its businesses.

HRH also saw for himself the significant damage caused to the museum’s storage facilities containing some 30,000 items from Scotland’s lighthouse collection during Storm Arwen.

The Royal Party then travelled to the town centre where it visited the acclaimed Faithlie Centre which is one of the focal points of the award-winning Fraserburgh 2021 regeneration programme. The B-listed baroque building which housed the Council Chambers and the former Police Station, now houses Aberdeenshire Council’s Service Point, Registrar and the Fraserburgh Enterprise Hub which supports start-up businesses and entrepreneurs in the town.

The tour then visited a number of High Street properties which have benefited from traditional shopfront investment including the award-winning Nooks & Crannies teashop on Cross Street run by Malcolm Watson and Lynne Gillan.

There was also a visit to the John Trail boutique hotel currently being developed by the North-East of Scotland Preservation Trust and the Glover Garden commemorating the birthplace of one of  the late entrepreneur Thomas Blake Glover.

The final stop was at the port itself where His Royal Highness met with staff at the Moray East Ocean Winds control centre and Fraserburgh Harbour officials.

Speaking after the visit, Provost of Aberdeenshire Judy Whyte said: “It was a great privilege to welcome The Duke of Gloucester to Fraserburgh today where we were able to highlight many of the town’s cultural, heritage and regeneration initiatives.

“It was a pleasure to show His Royal Highness the collection at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and the key regeneration and conservation projects which have been completed as part of our Fraserburgh 2021 programme.

“From a complete refurbishment of the Faithlie Centre to the creation of a garden in memory of one of Fraserburgh’s most famous sons, the local community is rightfully proud of all that has been achieved over the past few years and the ongoing work in the Broch.”

Last year, Fraserburgh’s regeneration helped the town claim the coveted title of ‘Most Improved Place in Scotland’ in the 2021 SURF Awards which showcase the most inspiring community achievements across Scotland.