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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 July 2007, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Archbishop backs 115m site plan
Mario Conti
Archbishop Conti is a former pupil of Blairs College
One of Scotland's most senior Roman Catholic clergymen has backed a plan to preserve a former seminary and museum on the outskirts of Aberdeen.

Mario Conti, Archbishop of Glasgow, is a former pupil of Blairs College, where a developer wants to build a 115m hotel, housing and leisure complex.

Muir Group also wants to save the chapel and museum from closure.

Archbishop Conti has urged the local community to support the project, amid hopes that jobs could be created.

The prestigious listed buildings complex operated as a seminary school from 1829 to 1986, when it closed due to falling numbers.

Much history

The buildings are now in a general state of disrepair and in need of renovation.

Archbishop Conti said: "As a former pupil of Blairs College I was sad to see the college close in 1986.

"I would urge all those both within the church and in the wider community to support this development project and ensure that Blairs has a long-term future in Aberdeenshire."

John Muir, chairman of Muir Group, said: "Aberdeenshire and the wider north east of Scotland cannot afford to lose Blairs.

"There is too much history wrapped up in the estate and wonderful treasures available for the public to view at the museum."

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