Moray Council has published the stage one design tender for the redevelopment of Elgin Town Hall.
The publication, via Public Contracts Scotland, is the latest development in the Moray Growth Deal’s £31.6m Cultural Quarter project, as the hunt for an experienced design team to lead the redevelopment and extension of Moray’s largest performance arts and event space begins.
Subject to approval of the full business case, the Cultural Quarter will be part-funded with significant investment from four partners – the Scottish Government, UK Government, Moray Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
The call for an innovative, multi–disciplinary design team to deliver a landmark 21st Century performance and community venue include the upgrade, refurbishment and extension of the grade B listed property.
The aim is to build on the current success of the facility to deliver a vibrant regional hub for performing arts, creative industries and the community.
Moray Council has been working with current operating charity, Elgin Town Hall for The Community, building users, customers, and creative industry professionals since December 2022 to develop an architectural brief for the project which reflects the needs of current users while updating and enhancing the facilities for the future.
Alterations will create more separation and better circulation between spaces, while upgrading the main auditorium.
The project will involve a modern extension to the building, increasing the floor area and including the addition of a studio/performance space, along with new practice/rehearsal rooms and visitor facilities.
Internal and external refurbishment and extensions must respect the listed status and prominence of the building while grasping the opportunity to enhance and refresh this important facility.
Jackie Andrews, Chair of Elgin Town Hall for the Community, said:
“While we’re delighted with the variety of uses the Town Hall currently enjoys, there’s no doubt that we can improve our offering immensely with the changes planned.
“We look forward to seeing the creative and innovative ways interested parties will propose to create a modern, unique and exciting space for Moray.”
Cllr Marc Macrae, Moray Council’s representative on the Moray Growth Deal Board, added:
“Elgin Town Hall for the Community have done an exemplary job in increasing the use of the existing space but the simple fact is we need a modern upgrade to continue to attract the level of demand we’ve seen to date.
“I hope any team bidding for this tender is aware of the fantastic opportunities there are to make a huge impact on the cultural offering in Moray and I wish them well with the process.”
Neil Gray, the Scottish Government’s Wellbeing Economy Secretary, said:
“I welcome progress in the redevelopment and extension of Moray’s largest performing arts and event space. Scottish Government support through the Moray Growth Deal is helping boost economic growth across the region, in line with our National Strategy for Economic Transformation.”
The design team for Elgin Town Hall will be procured through a two stage process with the hope of attracting the best architectural practices for this important work.
Following the initial stage a selection of bidders will be invited to submit a full tender for the project, with the aim of appointing the team in November 2023.
Representatives from Moray Council, Elgin Town Hall for the Community and HIE will sit on the evaluation panel.