Brough Lodge Trust Launches Worldwide Web Appeal
The trust set up to restore Brough Lodge, on Fetlar, has today launched a new website that provides detailed information about the historic mansion. The site can be found at http://www.broughlodge.org
A very user-friendly home page directs visitors to pages about the history of Brough Lodge, the Trust's vision, the phases of the restoration, the Patron (Dr Aly Bain) and the Trustees. It also explains how to get involved in the project and make a donation. Overseas readers can also learn about Fetlar and links are provided to useful information about Shetland, architecture and heritage, tourism, transport, accommodation on Fetlar, arts, crafts and other topics. If visitors to the site provide an e-mail address, they can receive quarterly updates on progress.
The launch of the website comes six months after ambitious plans to save one of Shetland’s most remarkable buildings took a major step forward. The total cost of phase 1 of the restoration will amount to almost £380,000 and, in March this year, Historic Scotland announced that it would provide £149,000. With contributions already promised from Shetland Islands Council, Shetland Amenity Trust and others, that meant that all the necessary funding for the first phase was in place. Work on securing the building and making it wind- and watertight is expected to start in November this year.
The Brough Lodge Trust was set up in 1998 to give the building a new future. However, there were legal difficulties and the Trust was only able to acquire the building in 2007 following the intervention of its new Chairman, Pierre Cambillard, a Frenchman who by then had fallen in love with both Fetlar and Brough Lodge, and who had seen the building’s potential. Comprehensive studies have since shown that the building can have a viable future. The intention is that it should offer comfortable accommodation for a range of residential courses focusing on special interest groups, such as those interested in Shetland knitting and music, photography and archaeology.
The Trust has taken care to ensure that the local community has been fully involved in the development of the project. There have been public meetings and consultation with the Community Council. Bringing the whole project to fruition is likely to cost in the region of £2m to £3m and the Trust had decided to split the work into two phases, the second of which will be aimed at restoring the building’s interior.
Welcoming the new website, Pierre Cambillard said:
"I'm delighted that we now have state of the art tools in place to address potential sponsors not only in Shetland but worldwide. There is a definite interest from foundations all around the world in supporting projects such as this, which combine the restoration of heritage with the development of eco-tourism to strengthen the local economy. That is our vision for Brough Lodge. We shall need support from a major donor, perhaps an international one, whose name could be linked to the project. But we shall also need the support of people in Shetland and I want to take this opportunity to thank those who have already contributed in cash or in kind. I invite people to consider making whatever donation they can afford."
Donations or any other form of support may be addressed to Brough Lodge Trust, c/o Paul Rutherford, St Olaf's Hall, Church Road Lerwick ZE1 OFD. A Gift Aid form is available on request. Any donation will be acknowledged with a receipt.