A project to restore and modernise Kilmarnock’s Dean Castle is to benefit from £1.5m worth of lottery funding.
The improvement programme was awarded the funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund this week, which is coupled with £500,000 worth of funding secured from Historic Scotland.
East Ayrshire Council supported by East Ayrshire Leisure will lead the £5.2m project, with the local authority footing the remainder of the bill.
The funding will allow essential stonework restoration to the external fabric of the castle buildings to be carried out, alongside the internal modernisation and redisplay of our world class museum collections and exhibition areas.
Council leader Douglas Reid said: “We’re delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us this support as Dean Castle is one of our major tourist attractions, and houses some of the finest museum collections in Scotland.
“This funding, alongside the £3.4, awarded from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2015 to develop the Dean Castle Country Park, will allows us to develop a fully integrated, five star visitor attraction.”
Also supported by the funding is a range of apprenticeship and learning programmes around the stonework restoration and collection conservation aspects of the project
Described as ‘the best example of a faithfully restored medieval courtyard-castle in Scotland’ in the Everyman’s Collections Guide, Dean Castle has a unique and important place in the history of the country.
It was the family home of the Boyds, Earls of Kilmarnock from the early 1300’s through to 1748, and subsequently passed into the ownership of a succession of powerful and influential people and eventually into the care of the council.
Still a modern day attraction, the castle and its grounds were last year used by the team behind Amazon’s smash-hit programme, Outlander with a number of episodes featuring the Kilmarnock landmark.
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Dean Castle is a major heritage attraction in the west of Scotland, housing important collections of arms and armour and musical instruments.
“Thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are delighted to give our support to a project which will revitalise these fascinating collections.”
Source: Daily Record
October 19, 2016