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Illuminations plan for landmark Perth kirk

St Matthews Church features in some of the best views in Perth.
St Matthews Church features in some of the best views in Perth.

An iconic riverside church is set to dazzle once more.

The Church of Scotland wants to install a series of LED floodlights at St Matthew’s in Perth.

The illumination is part of the council-led City of Light strategy, which aims to light up local landmarks and make the area more attractive for visitors at night.

The Gothic Tay Street building, which recently underwent a £875,000 renovation, was previously lit with large, halogen bulbs. But these proved too expensive to maintain and were put out of action.

An application for listed building consent has now been lodged with Perth and Kinross Council to make alterations to the outside of the church.

The five LED lights will illuminate the building and its famous spire in a “warm white”, but the colours could also be changed to promote events such as Armistice and World Aids Day.

Rev Scott Burton said: “The congregation of St Matthew’s are very proud to worship in a building that is architecturally stunning as it towers over the banks of the River Tay.

“We are delighted that this magnificent 212ft cityscape spire will be lit again during the hours of darkness.”

He said: “Given that the interior of the building has had a lighting upgrade as part of extensive refurbishment in 2016, it seems very appropriate to now show off the external beauty of architect John Honeyman’s work which dates from 1871.

“The building was lit before with older, more expensive, halogen lights.

“Sadly, over the years, these lights became too expensive to run in terms of the utility bills, replacement bulbs and maintenance of lighting units – all paid for by the congregation.

“The new LED lighting will be so much more cost effective and will undoubtedly enhance the aesthetics of the city at night.”

Remote lighting tests were carried out on the building in April.

Council leaders unveiled the £12 million City of Light plan in 2016. The local authority is paying about £5 million towards the scheme, while the remainder will be met by private owners and Scottish Government funding.

The aim is to revive the city’s flagging night-time economy and attract more visitors into Perth after dark.

 

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