Glasgow & West Scotland

Funding for new David Livingstone museum in Blantyre

This photograph by Thomas Annan was taken in 1864. Image copyright National Museums Scotland
Image caption David Livingstone was a missionary and explorer in Africa

Funding of £6m has been announced for a new museum at David Livingstone's birthplace in Blantyre.

It is hoped that the investment from the National Lottery and Scottish government can help to attract visitors from around the world.

Livingstone was born in a Blantyre mill in 1813 and spent 30 years exploring southern, central and eastern Africa.

The museum will celebrate the story of how a poor millworker became a popular British hero of the Victorian era.

The Heritage Lottery Fund will invest £4.1m in the project with the Scottish government committing £1.375m and Historic Environment Scotland investing £575,000.

Iconic figure

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan said: "David Livingstone remains to this day a deeply inspirational and iconic figure to many people here in Scotland, in Africa and across the world. Principles of global humanitarianism and solidarity lay behind much of his work.

"The reinvigoration of these historic buildings and surrounding grounds will create new spaces and opportunities for people to learn about the important legacy of one of Scotland's national heroes."

David Livingstone's geographic, technical, medical, and social discoveries are still being studied today.

The respect he gained from African chiefs opened the door to missionaries, inspired abolitionists of the slave trade, and influenced Western attitudes towards Africa.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, Lucy Casot, said: "The life of David Livingstone is both incredible and inspirational yet his pioneering work is recognised more in Africa than it is in Scotland where he was born.

"In the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology, it's timely that, thanks to National Lottery players, David Livingstone's birthplace is set to become a valuable education resource and world tourist destination."

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