Developers behind the multi-million pound revamp of an Aberdeen quarry could start a crowdfunding scheme to help pay for the project.
Plans for a visitor centre at Rubislaw Quarry were struck a blow last month when Aberdeen City Council confirmed it wouldn’t be putting any money into it.
Site owner Hugh Black estimated the development – featuring a museum, educational suites, meeting rooms and a restaurant – will cost between £5 million and £6m.
The potential crowdfunding, he said, would help fill a “funding gap” between agency backing and commercial investment.
A business plan is currently being put together to pitch for public sector funds, a process which will take until the end of the year.
Mr Black said: “We’ve had very good supportive talks with a number of agencies including Heritage Lottery Fund and Scottish Enterprise and we need to run our idea past VisitScotland.
“The process of agency funding is slow.
“One of the things we’re thinking to speed up the process is crowdfunding. We have terrific public support for what we’re trying to do.”
If crowdfunding is used, the quarry could give back to the community by investing future profits generated by the centre into a Granite Foundation to maintain and protect the city’s granite heritage.
Mr Black said the centre would look to create a “global brand” by reconnecting with countries all over the world where North-east granite had been sent. He said: “The granite was sent around the world but it never came back.
“We plan to send granite to these places, get them to make something out of it and send it back.
“What will be there will be a permanent celebration of our granite industry and heritage.”