A bright fu­ture for Brod­ick Cas­tle

The Arran Banner - - Letters -

Sir, We were sorry to read of Michael Smith’s dis­ap­point­ment fol­low­ing his last visit to Brod­ick Cas­tle (Cas­tle woes, Ar­ran Ban­ner, November 3).

Even a jewel in the crown needs a pol­ish now and then and we can as­sure Mr Smith that if he re­turns to Ar­ran next year the sit­u­a­tion will be very dif­fer­ent. As is of­ten said, the night is dark­est be­fore the dawn and be­cause the cas­tle has been shut the im­pres­sion of in­ac­tiv­ity may have been given. How­ever, this is far from the truth.

Read­ers will be well aware that the cas­tle has been closed for over £1.5 mil­lion of vi­tal fire sup­pres­sion work (the im­por­tance of which has been un­der­lined by the tragic events at Glas­gow School of Art).

The clo­sure has also given us time to re-think how the cas­tle and its col­lec­tions will be pre­sented in fu­ture. More will be re­vealed by the time the cas­tle re-opens in the spring­time – a new ap­proach to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing its his­tory and sto­ries. With in­vest­ment to­talling £3 mil­lion over the next five years, we aim to bring out the hu­man sto­ries be­hind the cas­tle and the com­mu­nity, as well as re­veal­ing hid­den di­men­sions to the var­i­ous ob­jects on dis­play.

We are also mak­ing sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment in the cas­tle gar­dens and grounds, quite apart from the fab­u­lous Isle be Wild play area that Mr Smith men­tions.

We have cre­ated the new Sil­ver Gar­den which is the­mat­i­cally linked to the cas­tle’s Beck­ford Col­lec­tion of sil­ver ob­jects. It also in­cludes sculp­tures spe­cially cre­ated by Sally Matthews and based on Ar­ran’s leg­endary White Stag. This will be fol­lowed by new sig­nage and wayfind­ing.

Our café and re­tail ar­eas are in a tem­po­rary ar­range­ment at present and they too are about to ben­e­fit from a makeover. A new ex­pe­ri­ence is be­ing de­signed for both, which will play a role in the over­all im­proved vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence we will be of­fer­ing.

Far from be­ing ne­glected, Brod­ick Cas­tle is a prov­ing ground for new ideas and vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ences. We hope that the peo­ple of Ar­ran will join us in 2019 and come to see for them­selves what has been achieved.

Yours, Jared Bow­ers Op­er­a­tions man­ager, Brod­ick Cas­tle, Gar­den and Coun­try Park, Na­tional Trust for Scot­land.

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