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House that provided the inspiration for Peter Pan receives Scottish Government funding

9 August 2011

Moat Brae House and Garden – the inspiration for JM Barrie’s Peter Pan – has secured funding from the Scottish Government.

A quarter of a million pounds has been awarded through Historic Scotland’s Building Repair Grants Scheme and was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop on a visit to the house in Dumfries today (Tuesday 9th August 2011).

The Trust’s new patron Joanna Lumley last week launched the first phase of a fund raising campaign, to help renovate the house and garden and create Scotland’s first Centre for Children’s literature.

Integral to the proposals is stabilising the fabric of the building and it is hoped that the money provided through the Historic Scotland grants scheme will help the Trust to begin to carry out essential repairs.   

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said;

“JM Barrie comes from a long list of renowned Scottish writers who have delighted generations of children both here and around the world.

“It is a lovely idea that both the house and the garden that inspired him to write this story can provide inspiration for a whole new generation of children.

“A key part of this is stabilising the fabric of the building and I’m delighted to announce this grant to help begin this process.”

During the visit Ms Hyslop met with representatives from the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, local MSP’s Elaine Murray and Aileen McLeod and the Leader and Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway Council. The group was taken on a tour of the building and the gardens, which provided the inspiration for Neverland. They also visited nearby Dumfries Academy where JM Barrie went to school.

The Cabinet Secretary also heard first hand of the Trust’s plans to develop a Peter Pan Experience Exhibition, a children’s library and opportunities to house literary residences and art activities to celebrate and promote children’s literature.

Roger Windsor MBE, Chairman of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust said;

“It is has been a very busy couple of weeks for the project, but hugely exciting ones.

“It has been a pleasure to host the Cabinet Secretary’s visit and to take her on a tour of the site to discuss our plans that will celebrate the international cultural and literary significance of the site. I believe it will serve as a catalyst for the future regeneration of Dumfries Town Centre.”

Cathy Agnew, the Project Development Director, said; “The grant aid will help us in our quest to raise £615,000 before the end of this year to undertake the emergency works to the building – particularly the roof which needs urgent attention – and take the first steps to deliver this project and save Moat Brae.”

The visit to Moat Brae took place as the Cabinet met in Stranraer. As well as visiting Moat Brae the Cabinet Secretary also visited New Luce Community Art Project’s sculpture garden, Glenluce Abbey and Whithorn Priory to launch a new archaeological programme.

For more information on the fundraising bid and to donate please visit

Notes for editors:

  • Photography is available from Donald MacLeod Photography. Images will be wired out on Tuesday 9th August or alternatively will be available from Historic Scotland’s Communications Office.

  • 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

Iona Matheson
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8703 or 07827 956 858