A National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling in Dumfries will receive £615,000 grant from the Scottish Government.
The funding is designed to support local projects that engage and involve communities in disadvantaged areas, tackle inequality and support inclusive growth.
The project, which will be delivered in a partnership with the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust (PPMBT), will complete the restoration of Moat Brae, a B-listed Georgian townhouse in Dumfries town centre. With an addition of two new contemporary pavilion extensions and reclamation of Moat Brae’s derelict Victorian riverside garden transformed into the Neverland Discovery Garden, the site will form a National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.
Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I’m really pleased that this fantastic, locally-driven project will benefit from an injection of funding. It will help regenerate the local area, stimulate inclusive growth and create new jobs.
“The focus of the projects being funded this year range from tackling social isolation, mitigating welfare cuts, providing training opportunities, creating business space and increasing tourism – to name but a few. They are an excellent example of how national and local government are working together on shared priorities that benefit local communities.”
Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Young People’s Champion Cllr Adam Wilson said: “We are absolutely delighted that our bid to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund has been successful. This award means that all the funding is now in place for the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust project. I am particularly proud of having the National Centre for Children’s Literature and Creative Writing on our doorstep.
“To have this funding announcement confirmed at the start of the Year of Young People is another illustration of our commitment to delivering facilities and services to young people. This centre of national significance will also be a major tourist attraction in our region which will help prove the ambition of our council to grow events and the tourism sector in Dumfries and Galloway.”
Joanna Lumley, Patron of the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, visited the project last year to see progress on the restoration work and landscaping of its new Neverland Discovery Garden.
Joanna said: “It is so exciting to actually stand here in JM Barrie’s ‘enchanted land’ and see our dreams for a Neverland Discovery Garden begin to come true.”