Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Grant Lodge design team search begins: What it means for the future of Elgin landmarks

Moray Council has embarked on a hunt to find designers to reopen the treasured 18th century landmark.

Grant Lodge viewed from front.
Redevelopment of Grant Lodge is one of the most highly anticipated projects in Elgin. Image: DC Thomson

Efforts to revitalise Grant Lodge as a new food, drink and heritage attraction in Elgin are poised to take a step forward.

Moray Council is now looking for a design team to spearhead plans to open the doors of the treasured 18th century Cooper Park landmark.

The project is part of what the local authority has dubbed as a new “cultural quarter” in the town, backed by funding from the Scottish and UK governments.

Elgin Town Hall and the wider Cooper Park area are also included in the ambitious £31 million vision for the area.

It’s a complicated project, with various items at different stages of development. Here’s where everything stands in the design process. 

Grant Lodge design team search begins

Moray Council wants to appoint a design team to develop plans to reopen Grant Lodge, which has been boarded up since a fire at the Elgin landmark in 2003.

It was formerly a library but is intended to be a visitor attraction celebrating the region’s food, drink and heritage.

The local authority wants a team to begin work in April to draw up “creative solutions” to restore the building as a “must visit” destination.

Artist impression of refurbished Grant Lodge looking towards Elgin Cathedral.
Artist impression of redeveloped Grant Lodge in Elgin. Image: Moray Council

Initial concept drawings show the venue having a restaurant, cafe or bar.

Marc Macrae, chairman of Moray Council’s economic development and infrastructure services committee, is expecting a “clamour of innovative bids” for the Grant Lodge design project in Elgin.

He 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.”

It is hoped the attraction will be open in 2025.

Elgin Town Hall plans already being developed

A design team has already been appointed to overhaul Elgin Town Hall as part of the cultural quarter.

LDN Architects, which has offices in Inverness and Edinburgh, was chosen to lead the project after 23 notes of interest were submitted.

Elgin Town Hall is the largest performance venue of its kind in Moray with a capacity of up to 600 people.

Artist impression of redeveloped Elgin Town Hall.
Initial Elgin Town Hall designs show the streets in front of it have been pedestrianised. Image: Moray Council

However, it is understood the layout and design of the B-listed building has put off some touring shows from dates in the area.

LDN Architects have been tasked with drawing up plans that make the building easier to navigate when busy, acoustic separation between the main hall and the rest of the building, creating a new multi-use studio and improving the technical and customer facilities.

The building remains owned by the council but is now managed by a community-run organisation with more than 80,000 people visiting a year.

It is hoped the refurbished Town Hall will be open in 2025. 

What’s happening in the rest of Cooper Park?

The cultural quarter project aims to create reasons for people to want to visit Cooper Park and spend more time there.

Facilitating a site for a privately-funded four or five-star hotel is also being explored with the Lossie Green car park earmarked as a potential location among others.

Improvements to the Cooper Park area have also been included in the Elgin City Centre Masterplan, which is being considered as part of other UK Government funding.

An outdoor performance venue, making the pond attractive for water sports, extra play facilities and a new sports pavilion are among the proposals still under consideration.