ABERDEEN'S iconic 194-year-old Music Hall has been awarded a £222,062 buildings repair grant in the latest round of funding announced by Scottish cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs Fiona Hyslop on behalf of Historic Scotland.
The funds will be spent on essential repairs to the much-loved city centre venue, which opened in 1820 and still entertains more than 100,000 visitors a year.
The grant scheme gives financial aid to owners of buildings of special architectural or historical interest to meet the cost of high-quality repairs, using traditional materials and specialist craftsmen to conserve original features.
The Music Hall is run by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), which has launched an ambitious £7 million redevelopment plan to revitalise and preserve the venue.
"This is a ringing endorsement of our project," said APA chief executive Jane Spiers.
"The Music Hall is Scotland's concert hall in the North-east – it's a favourite with musicians and performers all over the world from Emeli Sandé, whose earliest memory of performing is of taking to the Music Hall stage as an eight-year-old school pupil, to Sir John Barbirolli who called it 'a beautiful space to make music with a perfect acoustic.'
"The building has been an integral part of the North-east's entertainment landscape for almost 200 years and we want to make sure it's there for the next 200."
APA, which also operates His Majesty's Theatre and The Lemon Tree – has now secured pledges totalling £4.5 million for the project, including £1.5 million from Creative Scotland, £1 million from Aberdeen City Council, £700,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £1.25 million from APA's own restoration fund, which was raised by the general public through ticket sales.