Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

Sir Walter Scott's home lands council funds

Sir Walter Scott lived at Abbottsford in the Borders
The council has committed 1.5m in funding towards Abbotsford House

Scottish Borders Council has agreed a £1.5m funding package to assist with the upgrade of the historic home of Sir Walter Scott.

The three-year support aims to secure the future of Abbotsford House near Melrose as a major tourist attraction.

The council funds should allow £10m plans for the overhaul of the property and estate to progress.

Council leader David Parker said the project could provide a "much-needed boost" to the region's economy.

The Abbotsford Estate is managed by the Abbotsford Trust - a registered charity which owns the house, 100 acres of garden and ground and the contents of the house.

'Back on the map'

Earlier this year, it received Heritage Lottery Fund support to take forward a £4.4m grant application.

If the bid is successful, trustees hope to turn Abbotsford into a "world-class cultural heritage asset and tourist destination".

Mr Parker said: "The contribution of Sir Walter Scott to Scottish literature and in raising Scotland's profile on a worldwide basis is immense.

"So it is absolutely right that SBC contributes to a funding package that will put his former home firmly back on the map.

"The £10m Abbotsford project will bring a much-welcomed boost to the Borders economy and whilst the project is being developed there will be opportunities for local firms to be involved in the project's construction."

He said the scheme could also have a "long-term economic legacy" by providing a top quality tourist site.

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