Major improvement works for Provost Skene’s House
Provost Skene’s House (PSH) is to undergo a major renovation after Aberdeen City Council’s Finance, Policy and Resources Committee agreed steps to conserve and upgrade the historic building.
PSH, which dates from 1545, is being redeveloped under the City Centre Masterplan as a new visitor attraction that will tell the story of local people who helped transform the wider world.
In advancing the £1.85 million project last year, a comprehensive condition survey had established the need for a range of additional work to the building itself.
At its meeting on December 6th last year, the Finance, Policy and Resources Committee had asked for more detail so that the conservation work – as distinct from the work to refurbish PSH as a new attraction – could be thoroughly scoped, costed and programmed.
The agreed works, which will be carried out by specialist contractors, will include:
- Re-slating the roof
- Repairing failing mortar joints
- Replacing rotten timbers, damaged stones and cracked window panes
- Removing algal growth from stones
- Repainting the exterior and interior
Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader and convener of the Finance, Policy and Resources committee, said: “Provost Skene’s House promises to be a fantastic new attraction under the City Centre Masterplan but as a first step we want to renovate and upgrade this iconic building.
“The works agreed will ensure this much-loved heritage asset gets the attention it needs and is safeguarded for generations to come while being given new purpose for the 21st Century.”
Councillor Marie Boulton, the Council’s CCMP spokesperson, said: “Provost Skene’s House will provide a link not just to the past but to the future by celebrating Aberdeen’s and the North-east’s enduring global influence.”
In all, the stories of more than 100 remarkable people – ranging from sporting champions to entrepreneurs to Nobel laureates – will be showcased in the Guestrow building.
The ground floor will become home to a "Hall of Heroes" [below]. Chosen by the public during a poll last year, the line-up will include Denis Law and Scotland the What?, the two most recent recipients of the Freedom on the City.
The attraction is expected to open in winter 2019/20. The plan is to refresh the PSH line-up in the years ahead with input from the public.
PSH had previously housed a series of period rooms, furnished to show how people lived in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. It closed to allow for the construction of the Marischal Square hotel, office and leisure complex, which was completed in autumn 2017.