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Gordon Highlanders Museum gets £20,000 boost from city council

Bryan Snelling, museum chief executive
Bryan Snelling, museum chief executive

An Aberdeen museum, which honours the north-east’s historic army regiment, has received a shot in the arm to its ongoing fundraising drive.

The Gordon Highlanders Museum, on the city’s Viewfield Road, tells the story of the regiment from its first battles in the Anglo-Egyptian war of 1882 to its amalgamation in 1994.

The museum, which originally opened in 1997, suffered financial problems as a consequence of the oil and gas downturn in the north east.

Although visitor numbers remain high, the number of corporate booking taken from firms has fallen flat.

Last year, museum chiefs launched a major fundraising drive aimed at securing £100,000 a year over three years to keep the five-star attraction economically viable.

On Tuesday, Aberdeen councillors voted to grant the museum £20,000 from the city’s common good fund as part of the authority’s annual budget negotiations.

Last night, museum chief executive Bryan Snelling said that the campaign, excluding the council cash, had raised £157,000 so far.

The Press and Journal has donated £10,000 to the drive.

Mr Snelling added: “We are over the moon at the news of the new funding.

“This is something that we have been working with council officers with for a few months, so it really is wonderful to get the news.

“(The fundraising) has been more successful than many people expected, but we are not taking our foot off the gas.”

Hazlehead, Queens Cross and Countesswells SNP councillor John Cooke, who was at the meeting, clad in Gordon Highlanders Regimental Tartan in honour of his family’s connections to the historic regiment, first put forward a motion to support the struggling facility.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted that the council approved a donation of £20,000 to the Gordon Highlanders Museum Appeal from the Common Good Fund, following my motion last year.”

Conservative councillor Ryan Houghton added: “Having visited the museum and met with the team, it is clear to see the invaluable contribution it makes to both the local community and the wider service family.

“As a former serviceman, I’m proud that funding has been committed to ensure the future of the museum and continue their great schools outreach programmes as well as serving as a home for the regiment’s history.”

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