What we want to do

The Trust proposes to develop the house as a centre for day and residential courses and workshops on photography, arts, crafts, history, wildlife and the environment. The house will be a resource centre and base from which to explore Dumfries & Galloway more widely, connecting the centre to the wider community and allowing the courses to benefit fully from the environment, culture and history of Dumfries & Galloway. To develop this aspect, we are forging links with travel and attraction operators in the region, and organisations such as the RSPB and Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park who are keen to contribute to courses and be part of the offer.

The house itself will comprise the studios and workshops necessary to run the courses, plus dining and leisure facilities for the students, café and shop. Within the house, the major intervention will be the installation of a lift from the basement to the first floor. The Trust is also proposing an extension to ground-floor level which will form a flexible lecture, meeting and exhibition space for up to 150 people.

There is not enough space in the house for sufficient modern en-suite bedrooms, and conversion would in any case be expensive and problematic. The Trust is proposing five timber lodges, each with three double en-suite bedrooms, nestled among the trees in the grounds.

The proposal is based on the intention that the centre will eventually be self-sustaining. Income will be generated from the following activities: courses and workshops, accommodation, hiring out of exhibition space, lecture theatre and darkroom, café, and shop.