Pair join trust team in regeneration drive

Samantha Hobrough (left) and Sandra McNeil are joining the team charged to transform Abbotsford House.
Samantha Hobrough (left) and Sandra McNeil are joining the team charged to transform Abbotsford House.

THE trust which runs Sir Walter Scott’s home at Abbotsford has announced two part-time appointments to the team leading the £14million regeneration of the historic house, writes Andrew Keddie.

Sandra McNeil, who has taken up the new post of learning and engagement officer, will work with schools, colleges and in higher education in the region and beyond to develop opportunities that highlight the importance of Scott’s work, his legacy, Abbotsford and the surrounding landscape.

Sandra has previously worked for the University of Glasgow.

She currently works part-time as the family learning co-ordinator for The Royal Collection at the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh.

Samantha Hobrough, who has joined the trust as fundraising officer, will be responsible for raising the remaining funds required to secure Abbotsford’s future as a world-class visitor attraction. More than £10million has so far been raised to pay for major regeneration work and the creation of a new visitor centre, construction of which is currently under way.

However, the trust estimates that a further £4million is required and Samantha will liaise with individuals, trusts and foundations, both in the UK and abroad.

Samantha was head of fundraising for Brighton Dome and Festival – a major concert hall and arts venue that hosts the UK’s second largest arts festival. She also runs her own freelance fundraising consultancy, raising money for small organisations in the north-east of England.

Jason Dyer, trust chief executive, commented: “We’re delighted that Samantha and Sandra have joined us to fulfil these two vital roles.

“Both have extremely impressive credentials and we’re greatly looking forward to working with them to ensure the success of this vital project.”

Abbotsford is now closed to the public to allow an extensive programme of restoration and refurbishment.

The house will reopen in 2013, with the visitor centre scheduled to open in the spring of next year.