Most of the events planned for a weekend takeover at Peterhead Prison Museum have now been called off.
Inverurie events company Right Here Productions was hoping to host murder mysteries, silent discos and escape rooms at Peterhead Prison Museum to help save the under-threat tourist attraction.
However, most of the events had to be postponed indefinitely because the museum doesn’t have a public entertainment licence required to host such events.
Alison Telfer of Right Here Productions wanted to organise the fundraiser after finding out the venue faced imminent closure, due to Covid-related losses.
While most of the events – including silent discos, the company’s take on Blankety Blank, Stars In Their Eyes and murder mysteries – cannot go ahead, Alison and her team will still host a weekend of escape room fun at the museum.
She said: “The escape rooms are still going ahead, but the other events that we were hoping to do aren’t happening.
“Basically, the prison has a licence to run as a museum, but they don’t have a public entertainment licence.
“The council – when they realized what we were planning – has been in touch that we need a public entertainment licence and there’s not enough time to apply and have one by next week.
“So it’s just not possible for us to run most of the events.
Public entertainment licence is required
“The escape rooms are ok because they’re during the day and they are very similar to a tour of the museum.
“So we’re going ahead with the escape rooms at the moment.”
On Saturday February 26, the clock will be ticking for people trying to solve puzzles in time and escape their cells.
“They’ll have 45 minutes to get out of the prison. We’ll have ten cells – so a lot of teams can take part,” added Alison.
Since most events had to be cancelled, Alison has now decided to run more escape events on Sunday too.
She said: “I released four more slots on Sunday afternoon and if these sell out, we can add more escape rooms on Sunday morning.”
The prison museum, which was recently featured in Channel 4’s series Screw, will be looking to obtain a public entertainment licence so that it can host other events in the future.
Alison said: “The museum’s operations manager has assured me that plans are in place to try to obtain the licence so we can put on these events in the future.
“It takes a while for the licences to come through so we cannot secure a future date at the moment.”
Support Peterhead Prison Museum
Late last month, Peterhead Prison Museum bosses warned they may be forced to close their doors for good due to coronavirus-related profit losses.
The museum’s operations manager Alex Geddes claims that since November 2021 the museum lost 83% of its business compared to the same period in 2019 – which amounts to around £48,500 lost.
The Scottish Government has offered to compensate the museum around £6,800, however, with declining footfall and increasing energy bills and insurance costs, the prison museum still needs more funds to be able to continue operating.
Hoping to raise “as much as possible”, Alison also set up a Just Giving page for those unable to attend their events but who still wish to support the museum.