Belfast Telegraph

T in the Park unveils castle move

T in the Park is being transported to the grounds of a 19th-century castle.

Scotland's biggest music festival is to move to the Strathallan Castle estate in Perthshire after 18 years at its current home of Balado.

A deal has been struck to shift the festival next year following health and safety concerns about an underground oil pipeline at the current site.

Geoff Ellis, head of organiser DF Concerts, said Strathallan is set to become "one of the most beautiful festival sites in the UK".

The estate is about three miles from Auchterarder and within an hour of Glasgow and Edinburgh. The castle and estate have been owned by the Roberts family since 1910.

Mr Ellis said: "We're absolutely thrilled to announce Strathallan Castle as our new home.

"We've had 18 tremendous years at Balado but now we're moving on to pastures new - this time with a castle overlooking the site!

"We already loved Strathallan Castle and had been hoping to host an event there for many years.

"When it became clear we'd need to leave Balado to safeguard the future of the festival, we became very excited about the prospect of Strathallan becoming the new home for T in the Park. We thought it would be perfect and it is.

"The landscape is stunning and it has a fantastic natural amphitheatre which will lend itself beautifully for the main stage.

"It will truly be one of the most beautiful festival sites in the UK.

"Obviously, we're sad to leave Kinross. We'll miss the local area hugely, we've built up some fantastic relationships and a great deal of fond memories there.

"However, we're very excited about this new chapter of T in the Park's journey and we look forward to beginning strong partnerships with the local community of Strathallan."

T in the Park has attracted many of the biggest names in music since it began 20 years ago. The event was originally held at Strathclyde Park, Lanarkshire, but moved to the disused Balado airfield in Kinross-shire in 1997.

About 85,000 revellers are expected to watch performances by Arctic Monkeys, Calvin Harris and Biffy Clyro at this year's show from July 11 to 13.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has previously raised objections to Balado's proximity to the BP Forties pipeline running from the North Sea to a processing plant near Grangemouth.

The body agreed not to refer the objections to Scottish ministers this year, provided T in the Park moved away from the site from 2015.

A spokesman said earlier this year: "HSE has consistently advised Perth & Kinross Council against granting planning permission because in our view the public-safety risks it presents mean the site is not suitable for an event of this scale and nature.

''With large numbers of people in close proximity to a major hazard pipeline, our view is that the proposed development raises safety issues of substantial concern."

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