Brough Lodge Trust was set up in 1998 to give the building a new future. The house had been in a state of decay for over a decade, and had been abandoned with all its contents when the last resident owner, Lady Nicolson, was hospitalised. She died in 1988, leaving the house with no clearly defined management or future.
Legal difficulties prevented the Trust from acquiring the building until 2007 when the new Trust Chairman, Pierre Cambillard, stepped in. He is a Frenchman who fell in love with both Fetlar and Brough Lodge, and he immediately saw the building’s potential.
There has been broad public support for the restoration of Brough Lodge right from the beginning. Comprehensive studies have shown that the building can have a viable future.
The preliminary findings of a feasibility study prepared by Groves-Raines Architects Ltd were presented to stakeholders and potential public-sector funding bodies in Lerwick, Shetland, on 11 July 2007. This was a very positive meeting and the study was well-received. In August 2007, funding was obtained for four further planning studies from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£33,000), the Architectural Heritage Fund (£ 4,145 ) and HIE Shetland (£ 4,145). Following a tendering process in early September 2007, Nicholas Groves Raines Architects were appointed to prepare the Conservation Statement and Jura Consultants were asked to provide the Audience Development Plan, Access Report and Training and Involvement Plan. A special grant from the Architectural Heritage Fund provided funding for administration costs and coaching of the business plan.