Joanna is patron of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, who are overseeing work to transform the once derelict Moat Brae House in George Street into a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.
Visiting the gardens where JM Barrie conceived characters for his play about Peter Pan, Joanna said: “It is so exciting to actually stand here in JM Barrie’s ‘enchanted land’ and see our dreams for a Neverland Discovery Garden begin to come true.”
The final phase of works at Moat Brae began in May, and it is hoped the new centre will open to the public at the end of 2018.
Edinburgh-based architects LDN and contractor Balfour Beatty guided Joanna around the site on the banks of the River Nith.
She visited the foundations of the Mermaids’ Lagoon, the Home Under the Ground and discussed the plans to create an inspirational new visitor attraction which will become an important resource for the region.
It is expected that the centre will welcome 45,000 visitors a year when it opens, contributing £1.3 million to the local economy.
Children from across the region and far beyond will have a unique place to visit and play, and enjoy a year-round programme of creative events and activities.