50 Years on Crieff Road campus

Perth College UHI has been sited on the Crieff Road campus for 50 years, with the official opening in October 1971.

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Perth College UHI’s Crieff Road campus, looking up the hill towards the Brahan Building

The new building cost around £1.25 million and was formally opened by the Secretary of State for Scotland, Gordon Campbell.

The formal opening brochure documents the building materials as haven been chosen in an endeavour to make the building blend with the site: “Red facing brick for the walls and copper facings for the visible parts of the roof structures while the wood-work of window frames has been painted a subdued olive green.”

Previous to the building of the college building, Brahan House formerly stood in the position and was built in 1898 by Rufus Daniel Pullar - of cleaners and dyers fame. Members of the Pullar family lived in the house until 1947 when it became a convalescent home. The house became derelict, however, part of the oak panelling from the house was salvaged and repurposed to line one of the ground floor offices. The main access road still follows the line of the original estate tree-lined drive from Crieff Road. You can see photos of Brahan House on Canmore, National Record of the Historic Environment.

The College campus has expanded over the 50 years to include the Goodlyburn and Webster buildings, children’s nursery, student accommodation for 75 students and more recently - the Academy of Sport and Wellbeing (ASW). The ASW, which opened in September 2016, provides hair, beauty and wellbeing, sport and academic facilities for students, staff and wider community groups.

Dr Margaret Cook, Perth College UHI Principal said: “We’re immensely proud of serving our community, and over the last 50 years, from our Crieff Road site, we’ve grown from 24 lecturers teaching 700 students, to almost 300 lecturers teaching more than 9000 full and part-time students on and off campus. Students can choose from courses starting at access and national certificate level up to honours and postgraduate degrees.

“We have grown to be a leading College in the University of the Highlands and Islands and look forward to continuing to develop our campus and provision for our students - helping many more individuals transform their lives through learning, achieve their qualification and enjoy a great experience. Here’s to the next 50!”

The formal opening brochure also details the ‘specialist installations’ in various departments - which wouldn’t be useful nowadays, including: audio typing, central dictation and staff radio paging system.

In 1961, Perth & Kinross Council opened Perth Further Education Centre in Nelson Street — formerly the Southern District School before the move to the Crieff Road site.

The College continues to develop their campus and learning provision to enhance the student experience, including plans for the creation of a Community Wellness Garden and enhancements to the Academy of Sport and Wellbeing.

If you have any photos, stories or memories you’d like to share with Perth College UHI, contact pc.marketing.perth@uhi.ac.uk

Listen to Margaret's interview on Heartland FM