Ellisland Farm, the rural home of National Bard Robert Burns in Dumfries and Galloway, has received a National Lottery grant of £39,800 for an exciting heritage project, Securing a Sustainable Future for Burns’ Rural Home near Dumfries.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on identifying how best to manage the site to champion its incredible history; making this important part of the Robert Burns story more accessible through imaginative use of his house, the collections and the inspirational landscape.
Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) the project will review the treasures of the site and explore options to improve the visitor experience and make the operation more sustainable. We will also have the opportunity to speak to current and potential audiences to identify what the local community, partners and visitors would like to see at the site. Importantly the project will identify the best method of governing and managing the museum in the future and will support a range of fundraising initiatives. We hope this will be the first stage of a major development for a place chosen as a home by Burns for himself and his family, and which provides an unrivalled insight into his aspirations as a man, husband, father and writer.
Commenting on the award, Sheriff Principal Ian Abercrombie QC, Chair of the Ellisland Trust said “We are delighted to have received this funding and are confident that the award will support our ambitions to develop a first class visitor experience doing justice to the incredible talent of Robert Burns, the man whose vision created it over 200 years ago and who is still so important to the story of Dumfrieshire today.”
Chair of the Friends of Ellisland Farm, Russell Williamson added, “Throughout its history the Friends of Ellisland have worked tirelessly to maintain this important site, and we are excited about this support from HLF, and to be part of the the next stage of its story.”
Ríona McMorrow, Acting Head of HLF Scotland, said: “Resilient Heritage allows the heritage sector to build financial independence and resilience in a changing economic landscape of reduced public funding. It provides a tailored package of support that responds to the individual needs of organisations such as The Ellisland Trust so, thanks to National Lottery players, they can not only survive in these challenging financial times, but thrive.”
Ellisland Farm is managed by the Ellisland Trust established in 1922, which cares for the lands and farm of Ellisland, farmed by Robert Burns between 1788 and 1791. We are an independent charity and are entrusted with the care of Ellisland ‘for the benefit of the British Nation’. We champion the incredible history of Ellisland and the heritage of Robert Burns through our public programmes, collections, site, house and landscape.
Our mission is to celebrate and share the extraordinary story of the rural home built by Scottish National Bard Robert Burns; a story of hospitality, of an inspirational landscape and of creative talent.
Ellisland is an important part of the Robert Burns story, being the only house that Burns built for himself and the site which inspired him to write some of his most famous poems, including Auld Lang Syne, Tam o’Shanter and Ae Fond Kiss. Burns lived here with his family 1788-1791.