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Progress on Burns museum

06/09/2010

An additional funding commitment of up to £1.084 million from the Scottish Government has ensured the new museum telling the story of Scotland's national bard will be completed later this year.

The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway will be a world-class visitor attraction featuring an innovative new interpretation centre. It will be completed in November and open on December 1, 2010.

Today's funding announcement by the Culture Minister will also enable the National Trust for Scotland to develop an integrated Burns experience in the town. Plans include a footbridge that will improve visitor access and link new heritage trails to five other sites in Alloway that have connections to Robert Burns.

The funding announced by Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop on a visit to the museum site today brings the Government's support for the £21 million project to £8.6 million.

Ms Hyslop said:

"Burns is a Scottish cultural icon, recognised all around the world. His legacy brings thousands of tourists to Scotland every year.

"The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum development will provide a single experience telling the story of the man in a way that has not been possible until now.

"We are making this funding available to the Trust in recognition of the national and international significance of this project and the contribution it will make to Scotland's tourism offering. Our commitment ensures the project will reach completion on schedule.

"Fundraising will of course continue apace. It should be recognised that the Trust and Burns enthusiasts have done a great fundraising job, especially given the current economic climate."

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, said:

"We are very pleased to have this additional and generous support from the Scottish Government. The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is shaping up to be a world class venue.

"The way in which the collections and artefacts have been brought together will encourage people to think of Burns and his legacy in novel ways. It represents an approach to interpretation which the Trust sees as vital in ensuring that local and international communities are able to engage with Scotland's heritage. This funding will help us to welcome visitors from all over the world."