Perth’s Capital Project Development – FAQs

It’s exciting times for Perth, a city facing a cultural explosion and £53m investment in its cultural attractions over the next few years. What does the work involve? How long will it take? And how will the development projects affect the city landscape, its inhabitants, and visitors? We hope our FAQs will answer your questions.

What does the Perth Museum and Art Gallery project involve?

Perth Museum and Art Gallery is being redesigned and modernised as part of Perth and Kinross Council’s £53m investment in Perthshire’s culture attractions. The £10m project includes refurbishment of the museum to make it more modern and accessible, with more display space, as well as the building of a new collections store to house our nationally recognised collections.

Why is the work necessary?

This is an exciting opportunity improve the visitor experience within Perth Museum and Art Gallery, developing further retail, café and visitor facilities. It is also a great chance to showcase a much larger proportion of Culture PK’s incredible collections within fully refurbished galleries. The development will underline Perth’s position as a first rate cultural destination for locals and visitor alike.

When does the work start?

Detailed planning for the redevelopment is still underway and the project is expected to cover a 5 year period with closure for redevelopment in late 2018 or early 2019 and reopening to the public in 2021.

Will the Museum and Art Gallery be closed during that time?

There will be some reduction in enquiry services from March 2017 as staff begin packing for the move. Perth Museum & Art Gallery will then be closed to the public from late 2018 to 2021. A new display informing visitors of the work in preparing for the collections move and showcasing activity as the project develops will be on display in the Museum from March 2017.

What will happen to the collections while the project is being undertaken?

All collections will be carefully packaged and moved to the new home in the Collections Store prior to construction work beginning at Perth Museum and Art Gallery. However, Perth Museum and Art Gallery will be going ‘on the road’ while the work is being done. The public will get the chance to see selected exhibitions as part of campus displays and pop-up spaces across Perth and Kinross. Programmes of learning activity and events will also continue to be delivered in schools and community venues during the closure period. Details of all our activities can be found on the Culture Perth and Kinross Website.

Who is doing the work?

Architectural firm Hoskins will lead the project design on Perth Museum and Art Gallery and on the Collections Store. l. BAM Construction will carry out the work at the Museum and Ogilvie Construction is building the new collections store at Auld Bond Road in Perth.

What are the plans for Perth City Hall?

Perth and Kinross Council voted in June 2016 to develop City Hall as a new cultural attraction as part of the city’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021. The venue will display the Perth and Kinross collections which are of national significance, iconic loans from across the UK and elsewhere, and major touring exhibitions.

Who is designing the new attraction?

In February 2017 an architectural competition for the redesign of the City Hall was launched through the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. The brief was to deliver an international class 21st century attraction. The overall design approaches will go on public display. A panel of project representatives will assess the architectural teams and make a recommendation to the Project Board as to which architect should be chosen to come up with a final design.

On Wednesday 16 August, Perth & Kinross Council will consider a report recommending the appointment of internationally renowned Mecanoo as the architectural firm to work on Perth City Hall.

Mecanoo is behind other major cultural projects including Birmingham City Library, the HOME arts venue in Manchester, and the New York Public Library. It has a strong track record in reinvigorating historic buildings for the 21st century sympathetically and working collaboratively with local communities to develop its designs.

The international design competition for the City Hall attracted global interest and over 70 initial expressions of interest. The 5 shortlisted designs were evaluated in detail by a panel with professional expertise in architecture, building construction, finance, museums and public realm. The process was carried out in partnership with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS). The five design concepts were judged on how well they met the needs of visitors and delivered the requirements of a world class museum, affordability within the £20M budget, and sensitivity towards the wider historic area surrounding City Hall.

A public engagement exercise received over 800 comments from local communities and cultural organisations, local businesses and others. Public support was in favour of Austin-Smith: Lord/ MVRDV and Mecanoo, with Mecanoo receiving the greatest number of positive responses from local people and businesses.

When will work start?

The successful architect is likely to be confirmed by the end of 2017 and construction work will start on the Hall in early 2019 with opening scheduled for 2021.

Will City Hall house the Stone of Destiny?

Perth and Kinross Council has made a formal request for the Stone of Destiny to be displayed in Perth, but the first step is to see if that’s possible. As City Hall will be designed to display iconic objects and major exhibitions of all kinds, it would provide a fitting home for the Stone, however, other possibilities may also be explored

How will the project be funded?

Perth & Kinross Council has pledged a total of £20m towards the project and a further £10m is being sought through the Tay Cities Deal.

How can I keep up to date with the project?

Culture Perth and Kinross will be keeping you up to date via our internal newsletters. We also have a news site on this website.

How can I show my support of the project?

The reaction so far from the public has been very positive, and we’d like to build and sustain that momentum. Help us by spreading the word via the public – your customers, family and friends – and by answering any questions that come your way. If in doubt, email us at

You can also support Culture Perth and Kinross and the capital development project by making your own donation, and encouraging others to do so. Find out more info. 

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