Dunollie’s 2020 vision

Dunollie reveals its £1.6M plans to convert its steading

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Dunollie Museum in Oban has revealed plans to transform its 19th-century agricultural steadings, at the foot of the castle path, into more space for its cafe, gift shop, offices, workshops and store.

The redevelopment is likely to take around two years to complete, with an anticipated budget of around £1.6 million. If funds are successfully raised, it is hoped that works will begin in spring 2020.

Jane Isaacson, sustainability and development manager at Dunollie, said: ‘This new project will totally transform Dunollie Museum Castle and Grounds and what we are able to provide as a heritage attraction for Oban.

‘I have been working on this venture for some time now with the idea of bringing the old steading back to life as part of the Dunollie experience – it is really exciting that we have reached the point of sourcing a local professional advisor to help us develop concrete plans.’

The MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust has engaged CP Architects Ltd, Oban to work on its 2020 Vision.

Two main elements will comprise the restoration, starting with the barn. The trust’s proposal for this building is that it will be converted into offices, learning and meeting spaces to be used by staff, members of the community, volunteers, students and visitors to Dunollie.

At the rear of the building, if appropriate, a custom-built environmentally-controlled museum store will be added to provide safe storage and conservation spaces for Dunollie’s important museum collections.

A spokesperson explained: ‘The second element will consist of The Carriage House, Long Barn and Calf House. Building on the success of the Kettle Garden Café and museum gift shop, it is hoped that this beautiful structure with its arched doorways can become home to an indoor cafe/delicatessen area adjacent to a new space for the Drapers Gift Shop.

‘Also within this building, the trust hopes to create a new heritage textile crafts workshop and gallery where volunteers, researchers and learners can explore local textile heritage crafts. This will give the community a space for displaying, learning and passing on traditional textile skills, many of which are in danger of being lost.

‘This project will similarly provide much needed indoor space for the Dunollie Links community engagement programme, to support and expand on the learning opportunities and activities which already take place at Dunollie.

‘Through the 2020 vision, the trust hopes to not only enhance visitor experience, but also improve the vital care of Dunollie’s important heritage resources and provide additional job opportunities and career routes.’

The MacDougall of Dunollie Preservation Trust is currently carrying out a community consultation to assess community need. The Dunollie Team would like to encourage as many people as possible to complete the five-minute survey on the Dunollie website at www.dunollie.org