Scotland’s Hidden Gems Shortlist Unveiled and Voting Opens

Sites across Scotland are vying for votes as part of Dig It! 2017’s year-long celebration of archaeology and East Ayrshire Leisure’s Dick Institute has been nominated as one of Scotland’s ‘Best Kept Heritage Secrets’.  Dig It! 2017 will work with organisations across Scotland to pick a site from each of the 32 Local Authority Areas and the public will be invited to vote for their favourites.


Over 20 of the shortlisted Hidden Gem sites have already been “revealed” on social media through the #ScotlandinSixHG hashtag. From 1 June until the end of July, members of the public can vote for their favourites on Dig It! 2017’s Facebook page through a Hidden Gems album, with one “like” on the site’s photo equalling one vote. The six sites with the most “likes” will be declared Scotland’s best Hidden Gem sites and celebrated with six unique events in September.


Here are just some of the reasons you should vote for the Dick Institute:-

  • The Dick Institute opened in 1901 as a museum, library and art gallery. It was paid for by philanthropist James Dick, a Kilmarnock born industrialist most famous for developing drive belts for machinery.
  • Its most famous exhibit, loved by all visitors, is Brian the Lion who celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014!
  • It has been described by the Herald Arts as the finest municipal gallery in Scotland.
  •  Over the summer, the Main Gallery is showing FEED ME, a film by Rachel Maclean who is currently representing Scotland at the Venice Biennale.
  • The Dean Castle arms and armour, musical instruments (one of the 47 Recognised Collections) and tapestries will be on display from October whilst the Castle undergoes major refurbishment.
  • Our Little Explorers, sessions every Thursday introduce 3 – 5 year olds to our wonderful collections through the medium of drama and storytelling, and introduces guest staff who offer object insights.


So get voting for the Dick Institute:-

Visit Dig It 2017’s Facebook page and “Like” the photo of the Dick Institute, this counts as a vote for the venue.


Follow our progress:-


[Dick Institute image by local pupil Jonathan Downey – ‘Faded’ was recently on display in the YPG at the Dick Institute.]