A campaign launched at the end of the last month for much-needed repairs to a landmark Aberdeen building has already raised more than £16,000.
The Freemasons’ Hall on Crown Street requires urgent repairs to its roof parapets and chimney stacks. Masonic Lodges that use the hall hope to raise £75,000 for the iconic granite building that is part of the city’s rich history.
Funds have been depleted due to Covid-19, with no meetings being held at the hall. In addition, no grant funding or rates relief has been secured during the pandemic by those that use the hall. Options being considered include the opening of the hall’s rooms to the public for events and celebrations.
The hall’s doors were opened in December 1910 and artefacts contained inside date from the late 17th Century. Temporary repairs have been carried out.
Harry Petrie, building secretary and fundraising campaign co-ordinator, said: “We have always been committed to raising funds at meetings for local causes. Groups from mental health to cancer charities have benefitted from our fundraising efforts.
“We have donated £4,500 to Aberdeen food banks. Last year our members raised more than £7,000 for charity by climbing Ben Nevis.
“However, it is perhaps fair to say we have taken our eye off the ball when it comes to looking after our own interests. As we have become aware of the need for repairs, our funds have become worryingly depleted due to the pandemic as our main source of income was fees for meetings.
“We are currently looking at a number of options to try to reduce our rates bill of around £30,000. We are also looking at the possibility of hiring out rooms to the public to raise additional funds in the future. It really is a remarkable building both inside and out and it would be a shame to lose it.
“Visitors from all over the world are quite literally stunned when they see the beautiful halls, wood panelling, marble and plasterwork it contains. They marvel at the skill of the Aberdonians who built it. It has often been described as Aberdeen’s hidden jewel. We are looking for support to preserve a wonderful landmark.”
A temporary fix was carried out at the beginning of December with a plan for permanent repair work to take place at the start of the year The public has previously had the chance to visit the hall during Aberdeen’s Doors Open Day events.
A JustGiving page has been set up for donations to be made: