A MAJOR refurbishment at the Signal Tower Museum which cost £425,000 is now complete.
The keys of the building were handed back to Angus Council’s neighbourhood services department by the contractor, Muirfield Contracts Ltd., on Monday afternoon.
Besides significant refurbishment of the building itself, the Signal Tower Museum re-display project will create new permanent displays on the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse (including a scale model), trade and fishing from Arbroath Harbour and the lives of local mariners.
A multi-purpose room will be used for temporary displays and activities for both children and adults.
The signalling ball mechanism on the Signal Tower has been restored and will be used on special occasions.
A webcam showing the harbour area and the sea state will be mounted on the tower.
There is a new reception and sales area and features in the courtyard will show the size of the base of the lighthouse and how the courses of stonework fitted together.
The council will now begin the process of fitting out the museum with exhibits, both new and old, and it is anticipated that the facility will be re-opened to the public by early summer.
Convener of neighbourhood services Councillor Jim Millar said: “I am delighted that the refurbishment work is completed. All of the work on the refurbished museum is an integral part of a year-long celebration in Arbroath of the 200-year celebration of the life saving Bell Rock Lighthouse.
“The Bell Rock Lighthouse was built by Robert Stevenson between 1807 and 1811, the light first shone on February 1, 1811. It is the oldest sea-washed lighthouse and is one of the seven wonders of the modern world.”
He added: “During the Year of the Light, Angus Council is undertaking a full re-display of the Signal Tower Museum to celebrate the building’s link with the Bell Rock Lighthouse and Arbroath’s maritime heritage.”
Year of the Light, organised by the people and communities of Arbroath to celebrate the lighthouse, officially starts on Tuesday, February 1, exactly 200 years after the Bell Rock Lighthouse first shone out across the North Sea.
Events will include a spectacular firework display, a special service in memory of all those who have lost their lives on the Bell Rock, a yacht regatta, boat trips around the Bell Rock and a selection of concerts, music and talks.