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 which will form a flexible workroom, lecture, meeting and exhibition space for up to 100 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 to construct up to 15 double/twin bedrooms close to the House and sited in a way that will not detract from the setting of the listed building.

The proposal is based on the intention that the centre will eventually be self-sustaining. Income will be generated principally from the main focus of the business i.e. courses and workshops and accommodation, while hiring out of exhibition space, lecture theatre and darkroom, may contribute to the income but will be secondary to the main focus of the busienss. The provision of cafe and/or a shop is still under consideration.