South Scotland

Sir Walter Scott's home plans secure £4.85m award

Abbotsford House plans
Image caption The £10m plans aim to turn Abbotsford into a major visitor attraction with a visitor centre

Plans to transform the former home of Sir Walter Scott in the Borders into a major tourist attraction have secured a grant of nearly £5m.

The Heritage Lottery Fund said the award would give Abbotsford House a "vibrant and sustainable future".

The grant means that a further £4m of funding for the project is now secure.

Lord Sanderson, chairman of the Abbotsford Trust, said the support could "create a legacy for one of Scotland's most important sons".

The announcement takes the funding total for the site near Melrose to £9m of the estimated £10m required to transform the building.

A new visitor centre, learning suite and exhibition area are planned as well as major restoration and repair works throughout the building.

'Cultural benefit'

Colin McLean, head of the HLF in Scotland, said: "Sir Walter Scott is recognised as the man who re-invented our Scottish national identity then presented it to the world through his literature.

"Through this project, Abbotsford can once again take its place on the world's stage as a tourist destination and valuable education resource.

"Today we can celebrate that this exceptional piece of Scottish history is going to have a vibrant and sustainable future, bringing income to the Borders and to Scotland."

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Michael Moore said the announcement would help secure the future of the house "for generations to come".

He added: "The restoration of the house will lead to another tourist attraction for the Borders which will help the local economy once completed."

Lord Sanderson, of the Abbotsford Trust, said its goal was to create a "financially-viable, world-class visitor attraction" which would bring "lasting economic and cultural benefit".

"We are obviously delighted with today's announcement which means that we have now raised £9m of the estimated £10m we believe is required to make our vision for Abbotsford a reality," he added.

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