Design team sought for revamp of Elgin’s Grant Lodge

Design team sought for revamp of Elgin’s Grant Lodge

The Grant Lodge opening

Moray Council has launched the tender process for a multi-disciplinary design team to take forward plans for Elgin’s Grant Lodge.

Grant Lodge is part of the £31 million Cultural Quarter, a project of the Moray Growth Deal, funded by the Scottish Government, UK Government, HIE and Moray Council. This phase of the project will bring the Grade B listed building in Cooper Park back into use, revitalising this important space in Moray’s largest town.

The redesign of Elgin Town Hall and a future phase of hotel accommodation make up the rest of the Cultural Quarter project.

The new cultural attraction and heritage venue at Grant Lodge will see the much-loved building, formerly the town’s library, rejuvenated and the design team must bring the vision to life including new accessible spaces for recreation, leisure and tourism. An important public asset, Grant Lodge will have a civic purpose combined with commercial potential and become a meeting place for Moray. 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.

During 2023 Moray Council undertook extensive public engagement on the future of Grant Lodge, and the Cultural Quarter as a whole, carrying out a full fabric condition survey of the building, led by conservation architects at LDN. The successful applicant in the current search will be responsible for co-ordinating the design team; leading public engagement as concepts are developed; and undertaking further investigations to support the development. Crucially, they will also produce creative solutions to sensitively restore this listed building whilst integrating contemporary, quality design fit for new ‘must visit’ heritage attraction.

The tender is available on Public Contract Scotland with a deadline of 18 March 2024.

Moray Council’s chair of the Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Marc Macrae, said: “Grant Lodge has been on the ‘Buildings at Risk’ register for a number of years now and I know there is a keen appetite for it to be brought back into use. We needed to make sure that was done in a sustainable way and I believe this project is going to be the perfect way for Grant Lodge to be enjoyed for many generations to come by locals and visitors alike.

“To be part of that process will be an exciting prospect for many design teams across the country and I fully expect there to be a clamour of innovative bids on this one. I look forward to seeing how the successful team restores this gem of a building for future use.”

UK Government minister for Scotland, John Lamont, said: “It’s great to see the progress that is being made on Elgin’s Grant Lodge. The lodge is a fantastic example of the Moray Growth Deal in action, taking a derelict building and helping to restore it so the whole community can benefit from it as a recreation, leisure and tourism hub. I look forward to seeing the creative designs for its future.

“I am pleased this project is being supported by £3.5m UK Government investment as part of £32.5m investment in the Moray Growth Deal.”

Scottish Government minister for Small Business, Innovation, Tourism and Trade, Richard Lochhead, said: “I welcome progress on bringing one of Elgin’s most valuable, listed buildings back into use and support local businesses and jobs. Grant Lodge will help showcase Speyside’s world class food and drink and promote its culture and tourism sectors.

“Through the Moray Growth Deal, the Scottish Government and partners are revitalising an important heritage site for local people and visitors to enjoy and building a more prosperous regional economy.”

Share icon
Share this article: