THE Heritage Lottery Fund announced today that it has awarded the Black Watch Museum Trust the sum of £778,000, and as such, the trustees formally committed to proceeding with the project to improve the castle and museum with a forecast completion date of April next year.
Alfie Iannetta, chief executive of The Black Watch Museum Trust, said: “This ambitious project will commence due to the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Forteviot, Gannochy, Rausing and other charitable trusts, as well as the wonderful support that we have received from our regimental family and the general public.
“We could not be more grateful.”
Once the project has been completed The Black Watch Museum at Balhousie Castle will offer new and improved access for visitors, including improved museum interpretation and display, education room and archive office along with a new café and retail outlet.
New jobs and volunteers opportunities will be created as a result of this development.
Studio MB were appointed after a tendering process to firstly help the Black Watch with its HLF stage two bid documentation and, thereafter, take the project through to completion.
Charlie Barr, director at Studio MB, said: “The Black Watch Castle and Museum is already a special place deserving of its status as one of Scotland’s finest regimental collections.
“However, with the investment now confirmed, this site of ‘pilgrimage’ can become a ‘must see’ visitor destination for Perth and the region, worthy of the Black Watch’s iconic, historical and military importance and a fitting home for the regimental family.”
By harnessing the powerful ‘sense of place’ that Balhousie Castle provides, and displaying to their best effect the wonderful collections, Studio MB will aim to bring to life, through common empathy of human endeavour and bravery, the compelling and emotional stories of this truly unique regiment including the men who have served and the campaigns they have fought.
Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to be able to help transform this wonderful museum.
“With its current limitations on museum space the redevelopment will address this along with improved foot-flow and contemporary displays.
“The new building will mean that many more people can visit and learn about life as a Black Watch soldier over almost 300 years of history.
“Balhousie Castle is sure to become a highlight amongst Perth’s tourist attractions, bringing economic benefits to the area while keeping the history of this important local regiment alive.”
This ambitious development will help enhance the reputation of the Black Watch Regiment and preserve its almost 300-year legacy for future generations.
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