More sup­port for Burns at­trac­tion

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - NEWS EXTRA -

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

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