Julia Park Barry of Glasgow

PETERHEAD PORT AUTHORITY CEO JOHN WALLACE DISCUSSES THE POSSIBLE SITES FOR THE NEW LIFEBOAT MUSEUM.(BUCHAN/BROWN)
PETERHEAD PORT AUTHORITY CEO JOHN WALLACE DISCUSSES THE POSSIBLE SITES FOR THE NEW LIFEBOAT MUSEUM.(BUCHAN/BROWN)

Peterhead Lifeboat Museum Trust members have identified an alternative site for the proposed Julia Park Barry museum.

Speaking to the Buchan Observer on Thursday, Peterhead Port Authority chief executive - and chair of the Trust - said that the search for an alternative site for the museum had proved fruitful.

“Following the public meeting at Peterhead’s Palace Hotel recently, a proposal was put to Peterhead Port Authority board to identify a site at the harbour,” said Mr Wallace.

“Following consideration of several sites, it was finally decided upon a site adjacent to the original site of the former lifeboat shed.

“The trust subsequently met and were delitghted to be offered this site and are now in the process of developing a building drawing and are scheduled to meet with local planning officials on July 18.”

Mr Wallace said that subsequent to the new site being acceptable with the planners the plans and the development of the site saga on public display in Arbuthnot Museum for public comment.

“We would dearly love to see the museum being sited there for many reasons,” he said.

“It’s been a positive process that we hope will receive the backing of the public and everyone involved,” he added.

The museum had originally been proposed at the town’s Lido, but following a public meeting in June the plans were scrapped.

More than 200 letters of objection had been received by Aberdeenshire Council’s planning deparment agains the outline plans for the South Road location.

One objector asked whey the museum couldn’t be sited at the harbour, stating: “People could visit the museum and look out at a working harbour at the same time and they’re not far from the Mission or the Dolphin cafe.

“It would put Peterhead on the map if you sited it there.”

Speaking at the public meeting, Mr Wallace said that the trust wanted to build a “bespoke facility to house the Julia Park Barry” adding that funding was available through various routes.

The trust hopes that the museum will attract around 8,000 visitors per year, with approximately 3,000 of those coming from visitors to the marina.

Suggestions of the former Dolphin Cafe, the old fishmarket and the former weighbridge site had been made at the public meeting, but these had all been subsequently ruled out by the port authority board.

The Julia Park Barry was gifted to the port of Peterhad by Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie and was transported from Fahan Marina in County Donegal, Ireland, over to Peterhead in April this year.

Peterhead Port Authority has already pledged £30,000 towards the restoration project and now fundraising will get underway in earnest in a bid to create the Peterhead Lifeboat Museum, which will house the 46ft, 24-tonne vessel. Plans for the museum building include incorporating toilets and a small workshop.

Mr Wallace added: “It is a very exciting project and something which I think the people of Peterhead will get enthusiastically behind.”