More support for Burns attraction
Support for the Ellisland Trust’s £10million plans to transform Robert Burns’former home near Dumfries into a world tourist attraction has come from local politicians.
The trust revealed the amibitious plans for the site – which was gifted to the nation in 1923 and has been run as a museum – in the Standard last Friday.
South of Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said:“The trust understand they are guardians of a very precious part of our local history.
“They have kept myself and other local politicians informed of their plans every step of the way and I know they are keen to listen to views on the future of Ellisland.
“I’ve made clear I am fully supportive of their ambition and have given my thoughts on the potential to make what is a major site just 20 minutes’drive from our region’s largest town a real attraction to families.
“It’s clear that the current model for Ellisland isn’t viable but rather than simply let this historical site wither on the vine, the Trust have grabbed the challenge they face with both hands and decided to pursue a plan not only to save and preserve the history of Ellisland but hopefully deliver the huge potential it has as a major tourist attraction.”
He added:“It will be challenging to deliver and require substantial investment, but the prize in terms of bringing to more people the wonderful story of the only home Burns built, could bring a boost to the area both culturally and economically.
“Tourism is vital to our economy and our region’s strongest assets are our natural landscape and historical heritage. The exciting proposals for Ellisland build on both and I hope everyone will back the Trust to deliver their exciting proposals”
Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell, whose constituency includes Ellisland, has also welcomed the progress with the project.
He said:“The team at Ellisland have done a great job in bringing this detailed plan together. Their vision for this important site, which includes welcome new jobs, would give visitors a greatly enhanced experience at a location which played such an important part in Robert Burns’life.
“In a number of meetings I’ve had with those behind the project, I’ve always been greatly impressed by their passion and drive. It is clear Ellisland offers great potential and the accurate restoration to what the farm would have looked like in Burns’period would provide an authentic insight into the poet’s life there, warts and all.”
Mr Mundell added:“The proposed development would also be an important link in the Burns trail from his birthplace in Ayrshire to the locations associated with his later life in Dumfriesshire.”
Backing MSP Colin Smyth
Impressed Oliver Mundell