Duff House proposals discussed

PROPOSALS to transfer the management of Banff attraction Duff House and its staff to Historic Scotland are being considered by councillors.

The move comes after months of discussions among partners involved in the facility concerning the future operation of the venue.

The historic building was designed by Scottish architect William Adam in 1735. It has operated as a visitor attraction since 1992 under a partnership between Aberdeenshire Council, Historic Scotland and the National Galleries of Scotland.

Aberdeenshire Council is currently responsible for funding the operation of Duff House, including staffing, administration, utilities and some gounds maintenance costs.

Funding for the venue was reduced by a third as part of budget reductions for visitor attractions agreed in March last year. In order to achieve the savings a number of measures were proposed including a move to seasonal opening that would limit access to the facility during the winter.

Ongoing discussions have led to proposals for change in emphasis for all partners, with building owners Historic Scotland taking over the running of the facility, including staffing and opening responsibilities.

The council’s role would still be significant, with substantial funding and through work of the council officers to ensure local links to cultural, educational and arts provision.