Perth City of Culture Bid Receives Big Boost from Tay Cities Deal

The bid for Perth to be UK City of Culture 2021 has received a massive boost from the Tay Cities Deal as it is one of the first City Deals in the UK to put culture and creative industries at the front and centre of its aspirations. The Tay Cities Deal is being considered by Perth & Kinross and Dundee Councils today and by neighbouring authorities Angus and Fife in the coming weeks with a view to a formal submission to the Scottish and UK Governments on 1 March.


As part of Perth’s cultural transformation, the currently disused City Hall will be transformed into a modern, state of the art cultural attraction with space for large scale touring exhibitions and digital and high resolution imaging to assist in interpretation. Perth Museum and Art Gallery will be revitalised and a new collection store built to house artefacts appropriately. A request has also been made to relocate the Stone of Destiny from Edinburgh to Perth. Perth & Kinross Council has already committed £20 million of investment to these projects, with a further £10 million sought as part of the Tay Cities Deal.


The former St John’s Primary School will be redeveloped to house a business incubator for creative start-ups. Applying for £1 million of City Deal funding, it will serve a broad spectrum of users from innovative, creative digital businesses to traditional visual artists. The community will include private companies, social enterprises, organisations and charities, who seek to support innovation in the creative sector.


Also set to benefit is Pitlochry Festival theatre. The theatre is seeking funding from the Cities Deal to transform the theatre into Scotland`s leading producing theatre building, establishing a national centre for technical skills training, and delivering a new cultural tourism destination in the rural heart of Scotland.


Councillor Miller, Leader of the Council and Chair of the Perth2021 Programme Board, said: “The Council and its partners have embarked on a 20 year programme to establish Perth as one of Europe’s leading small cities. A key success factor is transforming our cultural offer, both in the city and the surrounding area, as we know we can attract more visitors.

“The Tay City Deal will also support us to realise the potential of the River Tay, developing active sports and events to encourage tourism.This investment builds on major existing commitments such as the redevelopment of Perth Theatre.”

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