Delay in reopening of north-east aquarium

Macduff Marine Aquarium.

The reopening of a major north-east tourist attraction has been delayed.

Macduff Marine Aquarium has been closed to the public for the whole summer while refurbishment works got underway within the two decade old facility.

The project, which was initially criticised for not coming at an “ideal” time to capitalise on off-work families, included draining the facility’s 400,000 litre holding tank and completely replacing its reef exhibit.

It was due to relaunch this weekend with a “big splash” event for youngsters, but was cancelled when it was announced more work was required to ensure that the main tank was fit for purpose.

A spokeswoman for the facility has since apologised to anyone who was affected by the delay.

She said: “The works on our kelp reef exhibit are taking longer than expected and we will remain closed for the time being.

“As soon as we have completed road testing of the tank and can move the fish back, we will let you know.

“Please bear with us meantime – we’re very sorry for any disappointment but we are nearly there.”

The bevent had been advertised as a weekend of family fun.

Youngsters would have been allowed to help decorate the new-look aquarium with graffiti, enjoy games and help ring in the facility’s 20th birthday with cake.

Top wildlife photographer Gordon Buchannan was also scheduled to appear.

More than 600 people had registered an interest in attending the festivities.

They will now take place in October.

Clare Matthews, the aquarium’s manager, has said the project to reopen the attraction has been a “mammoth” undertaking.

“Everyone working on it has put in a huge effort, but we’re beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” she added.