You will all know something of our long-held dreams and ambitions to re-vitalise and re-energise the iconic Scottish Crannog Centre, built nearly three decades ago, after the pioneering archaeological research of Dr Nicholas Dixon and others.
Well, now, here we are, one year on from last June’s devastating fire, with our application for planning consent now under final consideration by Perth and Kinross Council. After the amazing support shown by the local community, our visitors from around the world, major charitable trusts, the Scottish Government and many others, that same dream is about to become the reality.
Just like the original crannog dwellers would have done after a fire, we have rallied, packed up our stuff, looked for a new site and prepared a new beginning. The personal belongings of those same crannog dwellers – all safe in the museum collection – will come with us, to a new museum, a bigger and better Iron Age village, and a new and improved visitor centre at Dalerb. We will be taking our time to build several crannogs, so that you and everybody else can come and see us, to watch, learn and take part in all the ancient crafts and skills our predecessors developed.
We aim to be Scotland’s most sustainable museum, a national treasure admired by all with social justice firmly at our heart. We will be a world-class centre for learning, social action, research and education, attracting new interest from all over Britain, Ireland and beyond, honouring the story of our predecessors and the national heritage of Scotland. In full, this will be a £12m scheme leading the way in bringing many more jobs, opportunities and visitors to Highland Perthshire.
But to do all this, we must have the first phase of our development open and ready to go by next spring, so there is a tough challenge ahead. We will continue to build on all our previous work as we look to do the things we do best – community engagement with our collections, immersive and hands-on experiences in our recreated archaeological ‘village’ buildings, multi-media activities, and embracing the individuals and communities, from near and far, that we are here to serve.
We will continue to develop our innovative and award-winning training programmes for our apprentices and others. We will continue to work with our local schools, including Breadalbane Academy, and with the voluntary and social support sector in Perth, Glasgow and elsewhere, to build new ideas for accomplishment and achievement. We will research our collections and enable our objects to sing their own stories in many different ways to many different people. We will work in partnership with all those organisations and people who share our values and our ambitions. We will strive to be a museum in which everyone can take pride, a museum that matters, a museum that justifies our recent Museums Change Lives award as Best UK Small Museum.
All the support you have given us has been truly humbling. We respect and appreciate that trust placed in us, and we will work as hard as we can to repay that confidence and commitment. We are guardians of an incredibly special story with local, national and international significance. Together we can create a place that will tell the story of the crannog dwellers for generations to come.
We are fully committed to maintaining public access to the loch and picnic area at Dalerb and we look forward to working sustainably within our natural environments and considerately with everyone locally. I very much welcome your questions and your active involvement. We have an exciting time ahead of us working together to achieve these objectives and to really put Kenmore on the map of Iron Age history in Scotland!
from Nicholas Grant
Chair of the Scottish Crannog Centre Trust