Work begins on Dunfermline's museum and art gallery
Dunfermline, 16 December 2014 - The anticipated moment for construction work to begin on Dunfermline’s new museum and art gallery has arrived. Partners gathered to mark the occasion on site which will now see work begin on a modern, purpose-built museum and art gallery space in Dunfermline’s town centre. The part Heritage Lottery funded project will see a brand new facility constructed and integrated with the surrounding historic listed buildings, including the Dunfermline Carnegie Library.
Speaking at the get-together, the Chair of the City of Dunfermline Area Committee, Cllr Helen Law said she was very pleased that construction work could now commence. She said: ‘This is a hugely ambitious and exciting project for Dunfermline. Local people have been aware of and interested in the plans for quite some time and I’m sure they’ll be pleased at this important milestone being met. The facility will bring an impressive new focal point to the Heritage Quarter and wider town centre. In future it will be an important contributor towards the economic growth of Dunfermline’s town centre.’
Cllr Gavin Yates, Fife Council’s Executive Spokesperson for Community Health & Wellbeing added: ‘This is a complex project that has had a long lead time and it’s great that we can celebrate work beginning on what will be a remarkable facility. The new museum and art gallery will undoubtedly raise Dunfermline’s cultural profile and help to increase tourism to the area. The community is already playing a big part in the project too. Over 250 volunteers have taken part in activities like the archaeological dig and packing up of the library’s Robert Burns Murison Collection. I look forward to seeing more of these community based projects, which give really unique cultural opportunities to people, take place during the two years of construction.’
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: ‘We are now a major step closer to this medieval capital having a museum which reflects its importance in Scottish history. Many people have already been involved in exploring the history of the town in the build up to the new museum. Now that the physical work is underway, we look forward to seeing it begin to take shape as a contemporary cultural hub and a gateway to Dunfermline’s remarkable heritage attractions.’
Stuart Cross, Chair of Fife Cultural Trust who will run the building on behalf of Fife Council, said: ‘I am delighted that work is beginning in earnest on this marvellous building which will deliver a world-class cultural facility, museum and art gallery as well as secure the future of the world’s first Carnegie Library for years to come.’
Vice Chairman of Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, David Walker, added: ‘Developing and literally building on the first Carnegie Library to introduce this major new facility is something that Andrew Carnegie would have been proud to see in the place of his birth.’
Doug Keillor, Regional Director for BAM Construction, added: ‘Designing and planning a modern building to tie into adjoining existing listed structures is not easy and our team of managers and designers have worked closely with the Council to make sure that everything has been thought through and our Client is getting exactly what they want and need. It’s taken time, but that has been time well spent when you look at the end product. The level of detail we’ve gone into during the planning stage should allow us to deliver a showpiece building on time and budget.’
About the Heritage Lottery Fund: From the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife, we use National Lottery players' money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.
Fife Cultural Trust is managing the project to build a new museum for Dunfermline on behalf of Fife Council.
New Dunfermline Museum and Art Gallery: The Heritage Lottery Fund awarded Fife Council a grant of £2.8 million towards this project in February 2013. Fife Council has committed £8.25 million and The Carnegie Dunfermline Trust will also make a contribution of £1 million. The new building which will be integrated with the Dunfermline Carnegie Library will house a museum over two floors, three temporary exhibition galleries, a café, a new children’s library and a local history, study and archives space.