A tantalising hint of what the future may hold for the heart of Perth was revealed in the last few days.
The man in the know, Culture Perth and Kinross chairman Charles Kinnoull, said he was excited by “five very different visions” to reinvent Perth City Hall as a cultural attraction.
Drawn up by firms of leading architects, the public will however need to wait a few more weeks to cast their eyes over the competing offerings.
An exhibition will be staged in Perth in early June when an eager public will have a chance to have their say on the long-awaited solution to one of the city’s most thorny problems – what to do with a much-loved but redundant building.
Without giving too much away at this stage, Lord Kinnoull told a civic trust meeting that the shortlisted architects had followed the brief to reinvent the Edwardian listed building and provide Perth with a world-class cultural attraction.
The chosen option will provide flexible gallery space which would allow Perth to attract the best travelling exhibitions from the around the world and will include modern restaurant and retail offerings, which are now seen as very much part of the museum/art gallery experience.
Central to establishing a real visitor draw will hopefully be the success of the ongoing campaign to have the Stone of Destiny relocated from Edinburgh Castle to the new-look city hall.
Lord Kinnoull believes that just being able to hang the appeal of the new centre on such a well-known piece of Scotland’s heritage could be alone worth as many as 100,000 visitors annually to Perth.
Lobbying and behind the scenes pressure continues with a strong argument for bringing the stone to Perth being that it would be free for the public to view, unlike the current set-up in Edinburgh.
Let’s hope that those who make such decisions will back the Stone of Destiny’s relocation to Perth and help ensure the success of the multi-million city hall venture.