The National Trust for Scotland has announced the success of its fundraising appeal for the Burns Cottage in Alloway, Ayrshire.
A total of £100,000-worth of generous pledges and donations have been received and were increased still further on Monday, 29 April when a cheque for £1,000 was presented by the Alloway Burns Club.
The appeal was launched on 25 January on Robert Burns’ birthday in order to fund conservation work on the cottage where he was born in 1759.
The donations will allow the Trust to move ahead with plans to use specialist skills and materials to repair the cottage’s gable wall, fill cracks along the walls and windows, re-thatch the roof and re-limewash the outer walls to weatherproof the building.
As a prelude to the work commencing later this year, volunteers and staff at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum are organising free open sessions on Thursday, 9 May. This is in part a thank-you to the local community for their support and also an opportunity for the team to show how the elements affect historic structures and the kinds of techniques needed to deal with the consequences.
Caroline Smith, the National Trust for Scotland’s Operations Manager at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum said: ‘The level of support for the appeal has been overwhelming.
‘I would particularly like to thank local groups like the Alloway Burns Club and the Friends of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum for their tenacity and generosity in raising the money they have donated.
‘This means we can start planning our repairs at Burns Cottage in earnest and we expect to begin work in a few months.
‘If you would like to know more about our plans, we have drop-in sessions at the cottage on 9 May between 10am and noon and 2-4pm and we would love to see you there.’
Ali MacLeod, the Trust’s Head of Fundraising added: ‘Fundraising is the lifeblood of everything we do for the love and protection of Scotland’s heritage.
‘It was inspiring to see such a reaction to our Burns Cottage appeal and understand that so many people from near and far want to do all they can to preserve the legacy of Robert Burns.
‘Donations have come from as far afield as the USA and I would like to thank everyone for their generous and much-needed support. These donations are going to be put to good use.
‘We are still welcoming donations towards the cost of the conservation work and for improvements to the presentation of the interior which will enhance the visitor experience.’
To find out more about supporting the National Trust for Scotland, go to www.nts.org.uk/donate