Aquarium to close for birthday makeover

A diver waves to visitors from inside the aquarium tank
A diver waves to visitors from inside the aquarium tank

One of the North East’s most beloved tourist attractions will temporarily close its doors next week as work begins on a birthday makeover to celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Macduff Marine Aquarium has stood on the shore of the Moray Firth since 1997, showcasing the amazing local sea life to visitors from all over the world.

Tying in with the aquarium’s 20th anniversary, major works will begin on Monday, May 22 to revamp the five-metre-deep kelp tank, which forms the centre-point of the aquarium’s displays.

This will include draining its 400,000 litres of seawater, stripping the lining off the tank walls before a new lining is applied and the tank theming rebuilt. The fish meanwhile will be held in temporary storage.

The whole job will take around 12 weeks to complete and will require the aquarium to close during that period, with the aquarium scheduled to open with a brand new look to the kelp tank.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Head of Lifelong Learning & Leisure, John Harding, said: “Macduff Marine Aquarium is a major tourism driver in the North East and its unique open-air kelp reef exhibit is an especially popular attraction.

“I appreciate the timing of these works is not ideal given the summer holidays will soon be upon us but the aquarium has stood on our shores for 20 years and is now in need of a well-deserved birthday makeover.

“The kelp tank will be back with an even better reef exhibit when it reopens to the public later this year in celebration of the aquarium’s 20th anniversary.

“I would like to thank local residents and visitors to Macduff for their patience while this work is carried out and look forward to welcoming them again to the aquarium later in the year.”

The aquarium team will be posting updates regularly on social media throughout the refurbishment process, visit for more information.