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Dumfries House gets £0.4m funding boost

6 September 2010

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop will today (Monday) announce £400,000 of funding to  repair and research the estate of nationally important Dumfries House.

The estate buildings surrounding Dumfries House  – which was  saved for the nation by a consortium of funders led by His Royal Highness The Prince Charles Duke of Rothesay in 2007 – will be brought back into use to provide improved facilities for visitors.

As part of the project Historic Scotland will also be using laser scanners to digitally document and record the estate buildings and carry out studies looking at how well traditionally built structures retain energy.

The Minister said: “Dumfries House has an intriguing history all of its own and this ambitious project marks the beginning of a new chapter. Since it was saved for the nation it has operated as a visitor attraction and this work will contribute to that by making some of the estate buildings available to use as visitor facilities.

“As well as contributing to the repairs, Historic Scotland will be working with the Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust to use the conservation of the estate buildings to look at energy efficiency in these traditional buildings. For too long there has been the misguided assumption that older buildings can not be energy efficient, when in many cases the traditional ways that our ancestors built were much more effective at retaining heat.

“The work carried out by conservators will investigate this and how we can improve the performance of traditional buildings with simple, non-invasive measures. Dumfries House has long been an iconic building in Scotland and this research means that it will continue to be, for entirely new, but just as important reasons.”

The House, in East Ayrshire, was designed by the Adam brothers and is internationally renowned for its unique collection of furniture originally bought for the house and made by Thomas Chippendale and the contemporary Edinburgh furniture makers William Mathie, Alexander Peter and Francis Brodie. This Scottish group has no comparison anywhere in the world.

The consortium was made up of the Prince’s Charities Foundation, the Scottish Government, the Art Fund, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Monument Trust, the National Memorial Fund and SAVE Britain’s Heritage.

Ownership of Dumfries House and its contents passed to The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust on November 29, 2007.  It has been open to the public since 2008.

Mike Schafer, Chief Executive of The Great Steward of Scotland’s Dumfries House Trust, said: “This is very welcome news to the Trust and this will allow us to continue our renovation and refurbishment of some of the fabulous buildings within Dumfries House Estate. Our visitors will now see continued improvements taking place due to Historic Scotland’s grant, remember we are closer than you think, come and see us”

Notes for editors

  • 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 further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768100