Signal Tower
(L-R) Gillian Simison and Sarah Burry-Hayes from Museums Galleries Scotland and from ANGUSalive; Rachel Benvie, museum curator, Kirsten Couper, museum officer and John Johnston, collections officer stand proudly in front of Signal Tower Museum with works visible to the right

Funding Catch for Arbroath's Fishing Heritage

Published: Wednesday 12 December 2018

ANGUSalive, the culture, sports and leisure charitable trust for Angus, has announced an exciting new development for its Signal Tower Museum, Arbroath.

"Spotlight on Arbroath's Fishing Heritage" will bring to life the stories, charms and realities of life in the fishing community through the creation of new exhibitions and gallery spaces. The redevelopment, which began last week, will see the original Lighthouse Keepers' cottages at the museum opened for public use, with attractions inside to include a reconstructed interior of a fishing boat, a fleet of ship models, and a display of objects from the local fishing and maritime industry. The work will also create a temporary exhibition room and a flexible community activity space suitable for children's activities, craft workshops, meetings, talks and events.

Jointly funded by Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), North East Scotland Fisheries Local Action Group (NESFLAG), Arbroath Common Good and ANGUSalive, the project will bring to life many unseen objects from the museum's fishing collection, including some traditional fisher costume. The new exhibitions will also incorporate oral history recordings that are being captured as part of this project, ensuring information about the ways of life of the Arbroath fishing communities are preserved for generations to come.

ANGUSalive's Signal Tower Museum is already a popular visitor attraction in Arbroath and is regularly awarded a Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. The museum will be featured in the Lonely Planet UK Great Britain Travel Guide 2019. 

As well as adding to the visitor experience, once completed the fishing heritage project will provide increased opportunities for volunteering, community events, skills improvement and partnership working at ANGUSalive's Signal Tower Museum. The new spaces will open late summer 2019 to be enjoyed by visitors from near and far.

Sarah Burry-Hayes, marketing manager, MGS, said: 

"This exciting project not only enhances a beautiful and notable landmark in the town of Arbroath; it also further encapsulates the stories of the local fishing community for generations to come. These inspiring and creative developments to the museums displays and facilities show that ANGUSalive is dedicated to building a lasting destination attraction for the area, encouraging more of the community to visit and engaging new audiences. We are proud to be able to support the project through our Museum Development Fund."

NESFLAG co-ordinator Jamie Wilkinson, NESFLAG, commented:

"NESFLAG are delighted to fund this project which supports our local development strategy by celebrating the local fishing heritage of the area. We have funded around 25 projects along the Aberdeenshire and Angus coast and we continue to support community led local development in the area through the delivery of European funds."

Kirsten Couper, museum officer, ANGUSalive continued:

"We know how much our visitors already love our current museum. This new development will bring to life new stories that are very local and will appeal to both Arbroath people and visitors alike. We're looking forward to welcoming people and sharing the new, interactive exhibitions. During the work, the museum will be open as normal, but please excuse the evidence of work while we're getting ready to bring you an exciting way to discover more treasures of Angus!"

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