The Story so far....

Over the past year the project has made remarkable progress and has achieved the following:-

  • Established the new Company
  • Obtained Charitable Status
  • Obtained rent free premises at 40 Main Street New Abbey
  • Held two events in the House
  • Established a popular presence on Facebook and twitter
  • Commissioned a new web site incorporating a membership database
  • Developed a new logo and identity
  • Published a quarterly newsletter
  • Established a growing membership
  • Held a major photographic and art exhibition which attracted almost 500 visitors raising the profile of both the house and the project
  • Gained good local press, radio and TV coverage
  • Developed a good working relationship with the building managers and Culture Department of Scottish Government
  • Met with a number of organisations and established a real enthusiasm for the project
  • Obtained over £27,000 of grant funding
  • Commissioned more detailed surveys of both the building and the lodge
  • Recruited a part time Project organiser

Despite this much remains to be done in order to establish if there is a sustainable future for the building and grounds that can be funded.  The building remains in the ownership of the Scottish Government and will only be transferred to the Trust if it can be clearly shown that there is a realistic business plan in place and support for the capital costs for the refurbishment of the buildings and grounds.  The Trust was given 6 months – to July 2015 in order to demonstrate that there was a will to see the building remain in community ownership.  Despite this deadline having passed there is still strong support within the Scottish Government for this project to succeed – as long as it is clear that progress is being made.

Funding to date has provided the following

  • £10,000 from Awards for All covering the cost of 40 Main Street and a contribution to our marketing costs
  • £10,000 from the Architectural Heritage Fund to cover the costs of the Project Organiser
  • £4,000 from Dumfries and Galloway to cover the exhibition costs
  • £2,500 from the New Abbey Trust to cover running expenses
  • Various donations and membership fees totaling £2,120 for running costs

Thanks to the generosity of James Kingan and Sons we have the use of the offices at 40 Main Street for a year, rent free.  We will use this for meetings and to hold occasional information days as the project progresses.