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Scone Palace planning £10m visitor centre and adventure playground

Bosses say the opening of the nearby Cross Tay Link Road next year is an exciting opportunity for Scone Palace

Stone archway with Scone Palace behind
Scone Palace wants to improve its welcome for visitors. Image: Scone Estates.

Scone Palace bosses have unveiled plans for a £10m revamp to boost visitors and take advantage of the Cross Tay Link Road.

The estate wants to convert an unused stable block to create a new entrance.

The plan is to open a restaurant with gift shop, office space, an upgraded ticket office and additional visitor attractions.

A Pictish-themed adventure playground is also proposed for the Scone Palace gardens.

And new parking facilities could be created to the north of the site.

Artist impression of converted stableblock at Scone Palace with modern timber and glass extension
Visitors could shop and eat in the converted stable block at Scone Palace. Image: Scone Estates.

These would connect the landmark to the Cross Tay Link Road, which will swoop past the Scone Palace grounds when it opens next year.

The estate says: “This will have a positive impact on traffic flow to the site, in addition to future events held across the estate.”

artist impression of timber climbing frame with large Pictish figure
Young visitors would be catered for too in the Scone Palace adventure playground. Image: Scone Estates.

The plans have been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council.

Members of the public can view and comment on them here, using the reference 24/00731/FLM.

Plan could ease access for Scone Palace visitors

A supporting statement with the planning application suggests the development could greatly improve access to Scone Palace.

Revellers at Rewind Festival in Scone in July 2023.
Scone Palace hosts major events, such as the Rewind music festival. Image: Kenny Smith/DC Thomson

It says: “The Palace currently has several access points but there are clear limitations that the proposals will resolve.

“Visitors to Scone Palace use Queen’s Drive, with vehicles passing over the listed Catmoor Burn Bridge. Here there are 112 parking spaces.

“There is a secondary access for staff, refuse and deliveries from Stormonfield Road. This has poor sight lines creating a road safety issue.”

It goes on: “The main driveway from Old Scone was previously utilised for private access and deliveries. However the historic archway was damaged by a delivery lorry and has subsequently closed to be restored.”

Artist drawing of renovated stable block and courtyard at Scone Palace
The planned new entrance. Image: Scone Estates.

The proposals were presented to the public at two consultation events in Scone in December 2022 and February 2023.

Project ‘of immense importance’

By moving existing catering and retail areas from inside the palace, chiefs hope to free up more space to focus on Scone’s role in history.

And they say the plan will create jobs, bolster footfall and boost Perthshire’s visitor economy, complimenting the new Perth Museum and the return of the Stone of Destiny to the region.

The project could also feature a “solar meadow”, cycle storage, EV charging points, air-source heat pumps, and a wastewater system that uses reed and willow beds.

William, Viscount Stormont, in Scone Palace next to long dining table
William, Viscount Stormont, says the Scone Palace plans will enhance the appeal for visitors.

The planning statement, from Savils, quotes Viscount Stormont, whose family have been custodians of Scone Palace for 400 years.

He says: “The Stables project is of immense importance to Scone Palace and the region.

“It represents a major opportunity to evolve and enhance the visitor attraction at Scone Palace, creating a positive step-change in our offering.”

He adds: “The proposals will provide jobs locally and it will enable renewed and lasting engagement with the local community… It is a project the people of Scone, Perth and indeed Scotland can and should be excited about.”