MSP welcomes ambitious plans for Ellisland

PLANS for a major tourism development north of Dumfries have been welcomed by Dumfriesshire MSP Oliver Mundell.


The proposal is to return Ellisland, a house and farm steadings built by national bard Robert Burns, to its appearance when he lived there with his bride Jean Armour.


The 150-acre farm, constructed in 1788, was where Burns is believed to have written his world-renowned works Auld Lang Syne and Tam O'Shanter.


There are also proposals for museum displays, a visitor centre and cafe, with the project potentially employing around 50 people.


A major fund-raising effort is underway by Ellisland trustees and other supporters to raise the £10m required to finance the project, which should ensure the future viability of the site.


Oliver said: "The team at Ellisland have done a great job in bringing this detailed plan together.


"Their vision for this important site, which includes welcome new jobs, would give visitors a greatly enhanced experience at a location which played such an important part in Robert Burns' life.


"In a number of meetings I've had with those behind the project I've always been greatly impressed by their passion and drive.


"It is clear Ellisland offers great potential and the accurate restoration to what the farm would have looked like in Burns' period would provide an authentic insight into the poet's life there, warts and all."


Mr Mundell added: "The proposed development would also be an important link in the Burns trail from his birthplace in Ayrshire to the locations associated with his later life in Dumfriesshire."