Aberdeen Art Gallery © Reproduced with permission from Gareth Hoskins Architects These images are for illustration purposes only and do not indicate the finalised design

£30m revamp for Aberdeen Art Gallery gets council approval

Kasia Delgado, 08.01.2013
Project expected to begin next year
Councillors have approved a £30m redevelopment of the Aberdeen Art Gallery which, if funding is secured, is expected to begin in April 2015 and take three years to complete.

The councillors’ vote in favour of refurbishment plans comes after the application was refused by a planning committee in November and referred to a full council decision.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded the gallery £10m in May last year and Aberdeen City Council pledged the same amount. The gallery hopes to raise the remaining £10m through corporate and philanthropic funding.

HLF's support includes development funding of £126,200 to help Aberdeen City Council with its application for a full grant which will be submitted later this year.

Commissioned in 2008, the project will revamp the museum by upgrading the 19th century building and adding a new gallery level to increase exhibition space. There will also be two educational suites designed to promote museum learning.

Christine Rew, manager of the gallery, said: "We want to get more of the collection on display. The project will also allow us to bring a greater range of international collections to the museum."

She added that the refurbishment would integrate the museum with Cowdray Hall, a large concert hall neighbouring the gallery, to "create a much more holistic approach to the museum by having programmes that will combine art and music".

Rew said that if the project went ahead, she expected the gallery would stop putting on new exhibitions at the end of this year but that some of the museums would still be accessible in the first quarter of 2015.

As the gallery is a 19th century listed building, Historic Scotland will have to approve the plans before the project can go ahead.