DUMBARTON'S Scottish Maritime Museum has been included in a £600,000 funding windfall.

The museum, in Castle Street, is one of 14 sites across Scotland who are set to benefit from funding from Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS).

MGS has granted £39,000 to the Scottish Maritime Museum to create a flexible gallery space in their Denny Tank building.

The new area will include interactive exhibits and new displays, as well as increasing the museum's capacity to deliver a learning programme around STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects.

Bailie Denis Agnew, who is convener of and spokesman for communications, museums and cultural development at West Dunbartonshire Council, said: "I'm delighted the museum is getting this money.

"Hopefully the public will come along and see the new space but most importantly, hopefully schools and students can access it too.

"It's great news for Dumbarton and hopefully it will drive more tourists into the area. For me, it's tremendous news."

Dumbarton ward councillor Brian Walker said: "As a local attraction, and an important historical one at that, it’s excellent news to hear of this new funding for the Museum.

"With this additional funding the museum can go from strength to strength and consolidate its future."

Getting involved in the STEM initiate will ensure the museum’s collections remain relevant, and will contribute to the Scottish Government’s learning agenda.

Top brass at the museum are said to be "thrilled" with the news of the funding announcement.

Joanne Orr, chief executive officer of Museums Galleries Scotland, said: “MGS is pleased to be supporting projects that will contribute to the long-term sustainability and resilience of these museums.

“The awardees have demonstrated a real commitment to enterprise, skills development, and improving their offering for future visitors.”

Dumbarton ward councillor David McBride said: "The Denny Tank Museum is a real asset to Dumbarton and such an interesting and informative experience for locals and visitors alike.

"I'm delighted the museum had attracted additional funding to add the already excellent visitor attraction.

"I would encourage everyone to pay a visit to learn more about Dumbarton's ship building history."

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop, said: “I am pleased to see that Museums Galleries Scotland is making further interventions to support our many museums and galleries across Scotland, increasing access to our wonderful collections countrywide.

“I am proud that the Scottish Government is playing a role in improving Scotland’s cultural scene, supporting these projects through the allocation of £600,000 of funding to MGS.”

Established in 1983, the Scottish Maritime Museum is recognised as the principal resource for material relating to Scottish Maritime history, in particular shipbuilding and marine engineering.

The Scottish Maritime Museum is based on the Harbourside in Irvine, North Ayrshire, with a second display in Dumbarton.

The buildings and sites which the Scottish Maritime Museum occupies are part of the collection themselves.

Indeed, the Scottish Maritime Museum in Dumbarton is located on the site of the former innovative William Denny Shipyard and features the world’s first commercial ship model experiment tank, the Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank.

For more information about MGS’s grants programme, visit: https://www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/funding/