Abbotsford moves closer to funding target with £1m grant

ABBOTSFORD House needs a further £2.5million to secure its long term future, after receiving a seven-figure grant this week, writes Kenny Paterson.

The Heritage Lottery Fund’s £1million boost means the trust charged with overseeing the financial security and renovation of Sir Walter Scott’s historic property have now collected £12million.

Abbotsford is the first Scottish applicant to the HLF to be successful in the initial round of grants awarded through the organisation’s Catalyst Endowment programme.

The match-funding initiative is open to past or current recipients of HLF investments and Abbotsford is eligible after the award of £4.85million to the project in 2010.

Jason Dyer, chief executive of the Abbotsford Trust, said: “This is a significant grant award which will greatly assist with our current fundraising efforts with private organisations and individuals.

“We believe the fact that we are the first Scottish applicant to be awarded Catalyst Endowment funding further demonstrates the importance of the work we are undertaking to save this precious cultural asset and enhance understanding of Scott’s exceptional global legacy.”

The regeneration of the estate on the banks of the River Tweed between Galashiels and Melrose is still ongoing.

The first milestone will be the opening of a new visitor centre later this summer to be followed by the re-opening of the main house in 2013 following vital restoration and refurbishment.

The £12million raised so far includes money from public and private sources.

Donations to the Abbotsford Trust can be made via the Abbotsford website or by phoning 01896 752043.