Energy Voice | Oil price boost helping closure-threatened Gordon Highlanders Museum

The chief executive of Aberdeen’s Gordon Highlanders Museum has said a jump in oil price has helped keep business going in the face of closure.

Last year the facility issued a warning it could be forced to close its doors, largely due to a loss of income coming from corporate events held for energy firms.

That led to the museum launching a three-year fundraising campaign to recoup its losses, aimed at gaining £100,000 per year, with The Press and Journal donating £10,000 to the appeal.

However, a recent boost in oil price has led to more corporate work for the museum, according to Mr Snelling, with turnover up 30% on last year.

The price of brent crude oil was around $50 a barrel when the fundraiser was launched last year, compared to nearly $80 today.

Mr Snelling believes it shows the reach the oil price has on all businesses in the city.

He said: “We need the money in order to continue the story, to deliver the legacy of the Gordon Highlanders, which is why we have the commercial side of things.

“It shows that most businesses in Aberdeen rely on oil and gas in one way or another, even if it is not obvious.

“Last year we actually saw a 16% increase in business coming through the door for the corporate conference and that’s translated to a 30% increase in turnover.

“That’s still nowhere near pre-oil issue days but it is certainly a move in the right direction.

“We’ve still got a lot of work to do, but it’s certainly translated across as a better year so far.”

Going forward the museum is targeting new sectors in a bid to ensure its future such as finance, law and education, as well as new tourism opportunities from cruise ships in the city.

Mr Snelling added: “We’ve recognised that there are other sectors out there and we’ve started to raise our profile much more with those sectors.

“That’s going to take time, we realise that, but I think we have an excellent offering here in the museum.

“We’re also looking at capitalising on the new harbour at Nigg and the cruise ships that will be coming in a couple years.

“We’ve already had inquiries from some cruise ship tour operators about coming here so it is starting and we’re hoping that will be a big boost for us, as I’m sure it will be for the whole area.”


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