Funding will progress National Marine Centre plans

Artist impression of National Marine Centre
Norette Ferns

The Scottish Seabird Centre has been awarded development funding of £290,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to progress plans for a ‘National Marine Centre’.

The ‘National Marine Centre’ is the working title for an innovative and exciting project to diversify the Scottish Seabird Centre, expanding the conservation and education work of the charity. The aim is to build on the charity’s existing activities and share more widely the importance, value and issues affecting Scotland’s unique and fascinating marine environment and wildlife.

The project will involve the extension and upgrade of the existing building to include a new education and interactive exhibition space. Some initial design work has been undertaken, but the Centre will now be conducting further research and developing plans in consultation with the local community, partners, members, visitors and funders.

Tom Brock OBE, Chief Executive of the Scottish Seabird Centre, said:

"Over the last 15 years our staff, volunteers and trustees have worked hard to develop and deliver an award-winning visitor experience and education programmes that have informed and inspired people about seabirds.

"Now we look forward to building on this success by also providing enhanced conservation and education programmes about the amazing marine environment and wildlife all around Scotland.

"We recognise the importance of working at both local and national levels and collaboration will be vital in taking the project forward. We will work with the local community as well as with organisations all over Scotland to enthuse people across the country to conserve and protect our precious marine wildlife and environment for future generations.

"A massive thank you to HLF in supporting our vision: with their support we are closer to achieving what we know will be a great asset to Scotland. This is the first step in enabling us to appeal to, and work with, other funders to support this important national project that will highlight and celebrate a major part of Scotland’s outstanding natural heritage."

HLF has also given its initial support for a £3.5million bid for the project.

Dame Seona Reid, Deputy Chair of HLF and Chair of Committee for Scotland, said:

"The Heritage Lottery Fund is delighted to give its initial support to this ambitious project which we hope will inspire people to look after Scotland’s amazing, and often hidden, marine heritage.

"Our fascinating marine environment is of international importance and home to an extraordinary array of marine life.

"We have the players of the National Lottery to thank that we are able to support the development of this 'National Marine Centre' which will highlight the importance of Scotland’s seas in engaging and informative ways, helping to ensure the conservation and survival of marine environments and wildlife."

Visit the Scottish Seabird Centre website for more information.