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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 January 2007, 16:49 GMT
Burns museum wins 11.3m funding
Robert Burns cottage
Robert Burns was born in Alloway in Ayrshire
A proposed new museum celebrating Robert Burns has been awarded more than 11m from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Executive.

The Burns International Museum in Alloway, the Ayrshire village where the poet was born in 1759, will replace an existing museum which is in disrepair.

It is part of a 17m project which will also see the cottage where Burns was born restored.

The new museum will open for bicentenary celebrations in 2009.

The museum, which will be co-ordinated by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), will exhibit important works such as the original manuscripts of Auld Lang Syne and Tam O'Shanter.

Burns' life and his works are just as relevant today as they were when he lived
Shonaig Macpherson
NTS chairwoman

It has received 5.5m in funding from the Scottish Executive and 5.8m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Shonaig Macpherson, chairwoman of NTS, said: "We are delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund has chosen to support us in this project.

"It is vitally important that the legacy of Robert Burns, which is celebrated around the world, is properly marked here in Scotland with a high quality museum that allows people of all interests and backgrounds to study and enjoy the bard's poetry, his songs and his life.

"Burns' life and his works are just as relevant today as they were when he lived and it is crucial that we make sure none of what he gave us is lost."

The current museum is suffering from damp and a lot of artefacts have had to be moved to the National Libraries in Edinburgh.

Final approval

The existing building will be turned into classrooms and a library.

Scottish Executive culture minister Patricia Ferguson said: "Robert Burns is a cultural icon and he still continues to inspire new generations of Scots.

"The trustees and local authorities in Ayrshire have worked positively with the National Trust for Scotland to design a museum that does justice to the memory of Burns.

"It will provide a lasting legacy from our Homecoming Scotland campaign to boost the number of visitors to Scotland in 2009."

Brian Lang, chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund's committee for Scotland, said: "It will not only impact on tourism in Scotland but will also stimulate regeneration in Ayrshire."




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