Building work on the revamped Argylls museum in Stirling Castle will now start this autumn, with visitor figures expected to soar beyond 250,000 per year when it reopens next summer.
The National Lottery award is the most significant boost to date for the Museum’s Thin Red Line Appeal, a fund-raising campaign under the patronage of HRH The Earl of Strathearn.
The plan will improve the Museum’s ability to interpret and commemorate for modern visitors the history of one of Scotland’s great Highland regiments.
Colonel A K Miller, Project Director of the £4m Museum programme said: “After six years of developing our plans and much hard work by a small team, we are now in a position to deliver something very special in Stirling Castle.
“We are indebted to National Lottery players for their support, and I would like to acknowledge the roles played by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland in helping us reach this key milestone.”
The Argylls have played a notable role in the history of Scotland and the United Kingdom since the Napoleonic Wars.
Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “This award marks a key change for The Argyll & Sutherland Museum.
“It will be transformed from a traditional military museum to one which engages visitors in a modern and exciting way as they learn about life as a soldier over the past 200 years.
“Thanks to players of the National Lottery, current cramped conditions will be replaced with bright, contemporary displays. Better access will allow many more people to visit ensuring a brighter future for The Argyll and Sutherland Museum and its important collections.”
Thomas Knowles, Head of Grants at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “The links between Stirling Castle and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders reach back through the centuries, and this exciting project will help tell this story and offer a new experience for visitors to the Castle.”
VisitScotland chairman Lord Thurso said: “It is exciting to see the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum at Stirling Castle receive this investment.
“Scotland’s history and culture is one of the top reasons for visiting Scotland, and Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment to ensure that current provision meets future demand.
“Tourism is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy, causing a ripple effect which touches every industry and community, creating employment and economic growth.”