Work underway on transformation of Perth City Hall

Perth City Hall

Perth City Hall architectural mock-up

Photo Credit: Perth & Kinross Council

It’s a building steeped in history that has hosted legendary acts such as The Kinks, The Who and Morrissey. But work is now underway to create a bright new future for Perth City Hall, turning it into a £26.5 million cultural and heritage attraction scheduled to open in Spring 2024.

Designed by international architecture firm Mecanoo, the new museum will be the new home of the Stone of Destiny and run by charitable trust, Culture Perth and Kinross. The museum will also host touring exhibitions from the UK and abroad. Perth & Kinross Council is contributing £16.5 million to the cost of redeveloping Perth City Hall.

Perth City Hall is supported by £10 million from the UK Government as part of the Tay Cities Deal – a £700 million regional investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and regional partners. Since February, work has been underway to strip out the existing interior of Perth City Hall, leaving just the shell of the building remaining – creating a blank canvas for the new museum.

Perth City Hall was opened in 1911 after the previous City Hall was demolished three years earlier. Part of the original building’s wall was found in the foundations of the current building and is currently being examined by archaeologists. Perth & Kinross Council leader Councillor Murray Lyle said: “It is fantastic to see work start on Perth City Hall. “There is real excitement about its future, and I know people are curious about how work is progressing. “These images of inside the hall will hopefully give some idea about the scale of the transformation that is underway.

This will be a unique museum that everyone in Perth and Kinross can be proud of, and which will bring visitors to the city from across the globe.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said: “Perth City Hall is on course to become one of Scotland’s must-see visitor attractions. “The transformed building will add to the region’s rich cultural heritage and create a fitting new home for the Stone of Destiny. “The UK Government is investing more than £1.5 billion into projects like this across Scotland, helping communities to build back better from the pandemic.”

Charles Kinnoull, Chair of Culture Perth and Kinross, is also delighted at the project’s progress and said “ There has been a tremendous amount of work going on behind the scenes on this project and to see this become visible to all with the commencement of works on site is very exciting . “This project and the new museum it will deliver is a real symbol of bright new future for the city and will bring benefits to Perth beyond the building itself.”

In December last year, First Minister and Keeper of the Great Seal of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, announced the Stone of Destiny, will be the centrepiece of the new museum. The Stone of Destiny currently resides at Edinburgh Castle. Perth City Hall is a Tay Cities Deal project, which is part of a wider vision to create a cultural and creative industry corridor along the River Tay, bringing new jobs and economic benefit to the region. The Perth City Hall project will create 19 jobs in City Hall alone, with an additional 37 jobs in construction. There will be an annual visitor GVA at £2.5million. A total of £26.5 million will be invested in the project, including improvement of the surrounding civic spaces.

05 July 2021 By Oliver Johnstone