Historic Scottish island castle wins the lottery
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The UK's (HLF) announced today a grant of 4.6 million towards the restoration of on the Western Scottish island of . Estimates suggest approximately £14 million ( 21.9m, 16.2m) will be spent to restore and convert the property into a museum with four-star hotel accommodation.
Originally built as a home for Chinese and Indian opium trade, the castle has lain empty, and on the at-risk register, since the late 1980s. A gap of £1.6 million in required funding remains a concern the local (previously, Western Isles Council) is actively seeking help from both Europe and the Scottish government., who made his fortune in the
Council leader Angus Campbell intends to press the Scottish Government on the final funding; "it would be a huge shame if all the other funding is lost", he said. "We are optimistic about getting some European funding, which is absolutely crucial, and are asking the Scottish Government to close the funding gap." Campbell describes what would be the first UK museum withas its primary language as "a generational project" with benefits throughout the communities of the . Local commended the council's efforts to save Lews Castle saying they, and other agencies, "have been working tirelessly to progress plans that would ensure Lews Castle becomes both a cultural and economic asset to the islands."
|We are optimistic about getting some European funding, which is absolutely crucial|
—Council leader, Angus Campbell
Throughout its colourful history, the castle was at one time owned by World War II, the castle was the base for a Naval hospital and squadron of amphibious biplanes. Post-war, it spent 30 years as a technical college and school.who founded . Before gifting the castle to the local people in 1923, Lord Leverhulme invested in electric lighting, central heating, an internal telephone system, and the extension of the ballroom for social gatherings. In
If the final tranche of funding is secured, in 2014 the castle will become the first-ever archive facility in the Western Isles. The collections of (MnE) could move from their current home into the castle; items held by the could return to their native isles. And, modern facilities would permit collections from the and the – such as the – to be exhibited there.
- "Heritage Lottery Fund grant for Lews Castle brings economic optimism to the Hebrides" — , November 22, 2011
- "Lews Castle rescue" — , November 22, 2011
- "Lews Castle museum project gets Heritage Lottery funds" — , November 22, 2011
- "Council fails to secure funds for Castle and Stornoway Windfarm" — , November 2, 2011
- Phil Miller. "Island castle a step closer to £2.6m revamp" — , March 28, 2010
- Register entry for Lews Castle Buildings at-risk, Register for Scotland.