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Abbotsford funding boost

5 August 2009

Culture Minister Michael Russell has announced £500,000 for repairs to the home of Sir Walter Scott.

Abbotsford House in Melrose is one of four projects to share nearly £1 million in Historic Scotland grant alongside Glasgow Art Club, the Royal Hospital Chapel at Gartnavel and 45 North Bridge Street in Hawick.

The Minister said: “Abbotsford is an incredible place to visit, whether you are drawn to it because of its architecture, its gardens or its literary connections. It is remarkable to think that visitors have been welcomed here for generations – even before Scott died in 1832 – and the long term repairs programme that the Abbotsford Trust has undertaken will ensure that  generations more can come to enjoy and understand just how important it is as part of our nation’s heritage.”

Jacquie Wright, Executive Manager, The Abbotsford Trust said: “Sir Walter Scott and his works are a vitally important part of Scotland’s cultural heritage so we are delighted with this funding award from Historic Scotland which will help us preserve Scott’s beloved Abbotsford home.  We are currently working to raise the necessary funds to make Abbotsford a world-class visitor attraction and this Historic Scotland grant will enable us to make much-needed repairs that will help us in our quest to preserve the building, lands and contents for the nation.”

Glasgow Art Club has been awarded £190,000 for repairs to the building that was at the centre of Glasgow’s internationally renowned art scene on its formation in 1893 while the Royal Hospital Chapel will use its award of £261,000 to repair water damage and see it brought back into use as a complementary therapy centre tied to Gartnavel’s cancer treatment facilities.

The Minister added: “It is very gratifying when you can see a building given back a purpose by celebrating what it is that makes it architecturally special. Repairing the Chapel and Glasgow Art Club will benefit many people - providing training opportunities in construction, regeneration of the areas they are in, public access and the services they will ultimately provide.”

John Entwistle , Chair of Glasgow Building Preservation Trust which is behind the Royal Hospital Chapel project, said:

“Our Trust is really delighted that Historic Scotland is giving repair grant funding to this most worthwhile project. The  road we are embarked on is to secure an important part of Glasgow’s built and social heritage, and at the same time provide a sympathetic and supportive new environment for the charity Cancer Support Scotland to deliver much needed services.

“The chapel, which is currently dilapidated, once restored will again become a good place to be providing naturally calming spaces where complementary therapies will be delivered along with advice and support. We are grateful to the NHS who have backed this reuse of this important building since it was initially proposed”.

The leaded windows at 45 North Bridge Street will be repaired with the aid of a grant of £12,854 which will see an important feature of the Hawick streetscape retained.

Historic Scotland has invested more than £150m in the historic environment through its grants programme.

Notes for editors

  • These awards mean that these projects have been accepted for Historic Scotland Building Repair Grant on condition that all consents and conditions are met. The total amount awarded in this round of grants is £ 963,854.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

  • For further information on Abbotsford, please contact Karen Finlay or Yvonne Bruce, Artisan PR: Tel: 01578 722690.

  • For further information on Gartnavel Royal Hospital Chapel  project contact Anne McChlery ,Director ,Glasgow Building Preservation Trust , on 0141 221 6061 or 0774 772 3801.

  • For further information on Glasgow Arts Club  project contact David Watson on 0141 248 5210.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873