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Visitor attraction saved by funding

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By Charlotte MacKay
Dumfries and West
Visitor attraction saved by funding

A HISTORIC house in the centre of Kirkcudbright is set to re-open thanks to a Scottish Government rescue package.

Broughton House and Gardens has been closed since lockdown was introduced in March, with National Trust for Scotland (NTS) previously announcing it could remain closed for at least another year. The house was once home to artist EA Hornel – one of the group known as the Glasgow Boys – and its closure would have led to the loss of five jobs.

But a Scottish Government £3.8 million support deal has allowed NTS to recover from some of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, and Broughton is now set to reopen early next month.

On Tuesday South Scotland MSPs Joan McAlpine and Emma Harper, pictured above, enjoyed a private visit to the property organised by the Friends of Broughton House. Last week both politicians had written to the Scottish Government asking that Broughton House be prioritised as a condition of any government funding to support NTS.

Welcoming the news Ms McAlpine said: “This house and garden are of huge cultural importance to Scotland, having been owned by celebrated artist Edward Atkinson Hornel. The property attracted over 18,000 visitors last year so its closure would have been a huge loss to Dumfries and Galloway’s tourism sector. I’m sorry to hear that many jobs will still be lost across the NTS portfolio but this bail-out from the Scottish Government means they’ll be kept to the absolute minimum. As part of the deal the NTS has promised to work closely with the Scottish Government to look at their long-term operations.”

Ms Harper added: “Broughton House and Garden is hugely important to the local economy of Kirkcudbright and of wider Dumfries and Galloway. The welcome decision to keep the home and garden of artist Edward Hornel open means that the Japanese garden, which was designed by Hornel, can be maintained as the beautiful garden that it is thanks to the work of head gardener Mike Jack.

“It also means that many of the cultural and historical collected artefacts – including an original of the Kilmarnock edition of Robert Burns – can be displayed and available. I want to thank all involved in ensuring Broughton House and Garden has remained open, and I thank both the Scottish Government and NTS for their positive engagement.”

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