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Friday, May 24, 2024

Design Team Appointed to Lead Restoration of Grant Lodge

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The design team appointed to bring Grant Lodge in Elgin back to life has been announced as award winning architectural practice Page \ Park Architects.

The experienced team will lead the re-design and restoration of the heritage gem in the heart of Moray, bringing this much-loved building back to life after a long period out of use following a fire in 2003.

Moray Council received many quality submissions from architectural teams across the UK for this project, but it was Page \ Park’s impressive record of breathing new life into historic buildings to create accessible cultural and community attractions that won them the contract.

The redevelopment of Grant Lodge is the second phase of the £31m Cultural Quarter project of the £100m Moray Growth Deal, following Elgin Town Hall’s planned refurbishment.

Construction works are anticipated to take place between 2026-2028 on Grant Lodge.

Significant planned investment from the Scottish Government, UK Government, HIE and Moray Council will underpin the Cultural Quarter Project, which is redeveloping key sites in Elgin to create a connected, accessible and inspirational centre shining a light on the region’s unique cultural offering.

Once redeveloped, Grant Lodge will become the principal gateway to Cooper Park and a lynchpin for the Cultural Quarter with key connections to Elgin Museum, Elgin Cathedral, Elgin Library, Elgin Town Hall and beyond.

A place for celebration and relaxation, this new Culture and Tourism exchange will host activities while linking with interests, attractions, heritage sites, and experiences across the region.

Chair of Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee, Cllr Marc Macrae, said:

“Grant Lodge is an important part of Elgin’s Heritage and it’s exciting to see this next phase of the Cultural Quarter Project coming to life.

“The appointment of Page \ Park architects is a brilliant next step and I look forward to seeing how they revitalise and restore this gem of a building for the benefit of generations to come.”

Eilidh Henderson, Project Director at Page \ Park Architects, said:

“We’re thrilled to be appointed to lead the delivery of this transformative project at Grant Lodge.

“The Moray Growth Deal is a once in a generation investment in the future of the region, and we’re excited to get to work bringing this much-loved local building back to life.

“We believe deeply in celebrating the exemplar heritage in our unique towns and cities, and using heritage as an agent for local change and regeneration.

“Grant Lodge has a fascinating history, and we hope to work closely with the community and Moray Council to deliver a compelling vision for the next chapter in the life of the building.”

Grenville Johnston, Chair of the Grant Lodge Trust, said:

“Grant Lodge Trustees are pleased to hear of the appointment of Park/Page Architects as the design team for the development and restoration of Grant Lodge.

“We’ll seek to assist, advise and comment with them as much as we’re able.

“We’ve followed the progress of the Culture Board proposals with increasing hope that we would see this wonderful building return to use and this appointment is a major step in that progress.”

“2026-2028 will be incredibly important for a great number of people who have backed this work.

“Grant Lodge Trust hope that volunteers will come forward to support the Lodge once it’s back in use.”

Stuart Huyton, member of the Friends of Grant Lodge, said:

“In July this year it’ll be 21 years since a small fire resulted in the boarding up of Grant Lodge. 

“Ever since, it’s lain empty and unloved, now a prominent eyesore in Cooper Park.

“The Friends of Grant Lodge was formed in 2011 and have been campaigning for the refurbishing and repurposing of the Lodge ever since.

“Over the long years, there have been several occasions where plans were almost put into operation to bring the Lodge back into use for the community of Elgin but these were always thwarted and so time has passed.

“Now, with the advent of the Growth Deal, there is finally light at the end of the tunnel as the Lodge is part of the plan for the Cultural Quarter and Moray Council is about to appoint the architectural team to develop the designs for a rejuvenated Grant Lodge.

“This is good news indeed and we look forward to working alongside all parties.”

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