New Fife cultural facility welcomes first visitor
Dunfermline, 18 May 2017 - Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries (DCL&G), set in the heart of the town’s Heritage Quarter, welcomed its first public visitors today.
Built by BAM Construction, the building is the culmination of a ten-year project. The new museum now joins two B-listed buildings – the existing Carnegie library and a former bank branch – and has a purpose-built modern extension overlooking the grounds of Dunfermline Abbey. The facility is home to a museum over two floors, three temporary exhibition galleries, a café, a shop, a new children’s library and the Reading Room – a local history, study and archives space.
Construction work on DCL&G finished late last year. Fife Cultural Trust staff, who manage and operate the facility on behalf of Fife Council, spent recent weeks moving thousands of books, museum objects, precious archives and artworks into the building.
Heather Stuart, Chief Executive of Fife Cultural Trust, said: ‘This building and all that will happen within it from here on will play a key role in the regeneration of Dunfermline through culture and heritage. This is a community project in spirit and a great deal of blood, sweat and tears from so many people have gone into bringing it to life. Thanks to the dedication and commitment shown by the project team, staff and over 450 volunteers, we have created a vibrant visitor attraction that will be enjoyed for many generations to come. It’s a state of the art facility and a fitting celebration of the past, present and future of Dunfermline. We are immensely proud of what we have all created together.’
Bruce Dickson, Regional Director BAM Construction, said: ‘While the term can be overused these days, it is difficult not to look at this as an iconic building for Dunfermline that will attract people not only because of what’s on display inside, but because of the building itself. Everyone involved in the project should be applauded. Our clients for their vision in embarking on such an ambitious scheme as far back as 2007, the designers for working with us to make that vision possible and the BAM site team who have not had the easiest job of turning all those visions into reality. The combination of refurbishment of listed buildings, very modern glazed new build extensions, significantly restricted access and working space and multiple interfaces made this a very difficult and challenging project.’
Steve Grimmond, Fife Council’s Chief Executive, said: ‘This impressive new facility in the heart of Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter is set to be a real cultural asset for Fife. It’s been an ambitious and demanding project for those involved but seeing the finished product and the reaction from visitors highlights just how significant this building will be for the town centre. Investing funding in the venture, alongside Heritage Lottery Fund and Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, means that Dunfermline now has a museum fitting to its royal story.’
Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is not only the town’s newest landmark but also a welcome addition to Scotland’s cultural offering that’s destined to bring new visitors – both young and old – to the Kingdom of Fife. The new cultural hub hopes to attract up to 280,000 visitors each year, and contribute an annual visitor spend of around £500,000 to the local economy.
The building recently won Edinburgh Architectural Association’s ‘Building of the Year’ and ‘Large Project of the Year’ awards. A more formal opening of the new Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries is due to take place later in the year.