The £20 million transformation of Perth City Hall remains on track despite the failure of the city of culture bid.
Charles Kinnoull, chairman of Culture Perth and Kinross, moved to reassure the public in the wake of the news that Perth had failed to make the contest’s shortlist.
“I would like to add my thanks to everyone who worked on and supported Perth’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021,” he said.
“The news that Perth hasn’t made the shortlist is naturally most disappointing. However, the decision makes no difference to the city’s commitment to develop Perth Museum and Art Gallery, and the city hall.”
Lord Kinnoull said it was “full steam ahead” and the 2021 opening date for the city hall — which will hopefully house the Stone of Destiny if negotiations are successful — is still on course.
“Perth has long been ‘the Fair City’, known for its heritage and history,” he added.
“It’s time to go beyond that image and write the next chapter of Perth’s history: as an exciting, dynamic city; one of the best small cities in Europe.”
The majority of a £30 million investment will be spent on the city hall with the remainder allotted to improving Perth Museum and Art Gallery and providing a modern storage facility for the nearly 500,000 objects held in the local collection.
It emerged earlier this month that a potential collaborative partnership with the museum and art gallery and the Tate network of galleries is at an advanced stage.
Leader of the administration on Perth and Kinross Council, Councillor Ian Campbell, was also keen to stress that the failure of the culture bid would not derail the ambitious plans to make Perth a cultural Mecca.
“The council and its partners are deeply committed to the cultural regeneration of the area,” he said.
“£53m has already been committed to projects including the transformation of city hall and the refurbishment of the theatre and Perth Museum and Art Gallery. All of these projects, and more, will go ahead.”
Councillors will decide in August which of the five shortlisted architectural designs for the city hall will be used.