A bright future has been promised for Perth City Hall as work gets under way to renovate the venue ahead of the Stone of Destiny arriving at its new home.
More than £26 million has been invested in the work to create a culture and heritage attraction at the venue, which once hosted acts like The Kinks, The Who and Morrissey.
Designed by international architecture firm Mecanoo, the new museum will be the new home of the Stone of Destiny and run by charitable trust Culture Perth and Kinross.
The museum will also host touring exhibitions from the UK and abroad.
Perth & Kinross Council is contributing £16.5 million to the cost of redeveloping Perth City Hall.
A further £10m comes as part of the Tay Cities Deal – a £700m regional investment programme jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments and regional partners.
Work is now under way to strip out the existing interior of Perth City Hall, creating a blank canvas for the museum with just the shell of the hall left standing.
Perth City Hall was opened in 1911 after the previous City Hall was demolished three years earlier.
Part of the original building’s wall was found in the foundations of the current building and is currently being examined by archaeologists.
Perth & Kinross Council leader Councillor Murray Lyle said: “It is fantastic to see work start on Perth City Hall.
“There is real excitement about its future and I know people are curious about how work is progressing.
“These images of inside the hall will hopefully give some idea about the scale of the transformation that is underway.
“This will be a unique museum that everyone in Perth and Kinross can be proud of, and which will bring visitors to the city from across the globe.”
Last year the Queen approved plans to return the Stone of Destiny to Perthshire, more than 700 years after it was controversially moved out of Scotland.
The Stone of Destiny currently resides at Edinburgh Castle but there has been a campaign to return it to Perthshire.
Iain Stewart, UK Government Minister for Scotland, said: “Perth City Hall is on course to become one of Scotland’s must-see visitor attractions.
“The transformed building will add to the region’s rich cultural heritage and create a fitting new home for the Stone of Destiny.
“The UK Government is investing more than £1.5 billion into projects like this across Scotland, helping communities to build back better from the pandemic.”
Charles Kinnoull, chairman of Culture Perth and Kinross, said: “There has been a tremendous amount of work going on behind the scenes on this project and to see this become visible to all with the commencement of works on site is very exciting.
“This project and the new museum it will deliver is a real symbol of bright new future for the city and will bring benefits to Perth beyond the building itself.”
Perth City Hall is a Tay Cities Deal project, which is part of a wider vision to create a cultural and creative industry corridor along the River Tay, bringing new jobs and economic benefit to the region.
The Perth City Hall project will create 19 jobs in City Hall alone, with an additional 37 jobs in construction. There will be an annual visitor GVA at £2.5million.
A total of £26.5 million will be invested in the project, including improvement of the surrounding civic spaces.