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Argyll construction firm TSL has been appointed as the main contractor for the redevelopment of Kilmartin Museum.
Museum director Sharon Webb said: ‘It’s great that we have been able to award the contract to a local building company. We’re in the final weeks of emptying the buildings so we can hand the site over to the builders who will start work just after Easter.’
Covid-19 has caused some delays to the project, and the new museum is now expected to open in spring 2023. Additional funding to cover cost increases caused by the delay has been secured from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Natural and Cultural Heritage Fund, (part-funded through the European Regional Development Fund).
Although the museum will be closed until 2023, there will be a pop-up café and Kilmartin Glen Archaeology information point on site. As soon as it is safe to do so, guided walks will resume and the education team will be delivering a programme of activities for schools throughout Argyll and the islands. Online learning about the area’s archaeology will be via online talks, recordings and blogs so that although the museum is closed, it can still inspire people about the amazing archaeology in the glen and its artefact collection.
A spokesperson for Kilmartin Museum said: ‘ We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the volunteers, individual donors, trusts, and foundations and funders that have contributed to the project so far. ‘
‘The museum’s work and artefact collections have grown to the point where they have outgrown our buildings. To give us space to expand, build on our successes and continue our work, we have developed an ambitious redevelopment project.
‘A major extension designed by award winning architects Reiach and Hall will join together our two existing buildings creating a seamless museum facility. Our aim is to significantly develop our work and create an inspiring place where we can care for, celebrate, and tell the story of Kilmartin Glen’s unique archaeological and natural heritage.’
The redevelopment provides:
- A much larger exhibition space, giving us opportunities to tell many more visitors the story of this special place.
- A creative space, which can be used to deliver and participate in cultural activities as well as allowing us to stage temporary exhibitions.
- An accessible research and learning facility where we can safely curate all our collections.
- A fit-for-purpose education space, which will allow us to develop our active learning and volunteering programme.
- A new path which is a direct link to the monuments so that visitors will be able to use the museum as a starting point to begin their exploration of the area’s natural and cultural heritage.
- A remodelled shop, reception and café, and improved car parking amenities.