Saving a piece of Shetland's heritage
Plans are underway to restore Brough Lodge, a 19th-century estate on the Shetland island of Fetlar, and create a place in which Shetland’s rich musical and artistic heritage is nurtured and celebrated. To this end, the Brough Lodge Trust (BLT) has been established to bring the property back to life.
Once completed, Brough Lodge’s historic atmosphere will be a focus for short courses and activities involving the arts (hand knitting, fiddle music, photography) and environmental themes (geology, archaeology, wildlife/bird watching).
It is also intended to offer short-stay holiday accommodation, business retreats and guided tours. The project will benefit the local community by
maximising the potential for development of the tourist market. Up to six jobs will be created on an island where there are few employment
opportunities and where economic diversification has been identified as essential for the island’s survival and future development.
In its new role, the building will also help to expand knowledge and understanding, both within Shetland and further afield, of Fetlar’s cultural
heritage, which is a source of pride and confidence for the community. There is an opportunity to attract visitors, benefitting the whole island and possibly encouraging inward investment. Educational visits to Brough Lodge will also be encouraged and dedicated space and facilities will be set aside for them.
The Trust is currently in the process of finalising funding for the phased renovation process. The first stage is underway, making the building wind and water tight and restoring all the ancient architectural features to their original glory. This phase will take around two years and cost almost £400,000, financed by Historic Scotland, Shetland Islands Council and the Shetland Amenity Trust, who will also be the contractor.
It will take a further £2.5m to complete the renovation and move ahead with activities. Once restoration is complete, Brough Lodge intends to be
FlyBe magazine May/June 2012 issue
If you would like to help fund this important project, visit www.broughlodge.org