New ideas for Grant Lodge coming through from public exhibition

A community arts centre or a boutique hotel are just two of the suggestions being put forward for the future of the historic Grant Lodge in Elgin’s Cooper Park.

The campaign group that has been seeking to ensure a useful future for the 18th-century building has been asking local people to put forward their views on how it can be used.

Friends of Grant Lodge was formed in an attempt to protect the building from falling into further disrepair after it had lain untouched for over ten years after being gutted by a fire in 2003.

The Robert Adam designed building was first built in 1750 and gifted to the town in 1903 and had previously been used as Elgin’s main library.

The local authority had at first indicated it would assist in the £3million costs of restoration – however, it backed away from that in the midst of severe financial cutbacks before admitting earlier this year that all funding would need to be found from other sources.

An exhibition is currently under way in Elgin Library highlighting possible uses for the building with the public being asked for their views.

Campaigner David Willox said: “It could be something like the people’s palace, a social history museum with pictures and telling the story of how Elgin folk lived.

“That could be the main part and the other bit could have a cafe and rooms to let – if somebody has the vision and foresight to do something with it.

“But the more we leave it empty and rotting away the less of an attraction it becomes.”

Moray Council’s policy and resources committee will hold further discussions on Tuesday over future plans for the building.

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