A NEW plan to develop Robert Burns’s Ellisland home is being pieced together by some of Scotland’s leading architects and heritage experts.

Burns built Ellisland Farm near Dumfries in 1788 for his young wife Jean Armour and their family.

The site is known for being the place where Burns wrote some of his most celebrated works, including Auld Lang Syne and Tam O’ Shanter.

A team of architects and heritage experts, including some who worked on the development of Edinburgh’s Old Town, won the contract to revive the site, which has been run as a museum and heritage attraction since 1928.

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The new plan aims to look at ways to restore the 1788 buildings, improve the area’s biodiversity and develop better ways for people to access the site’s nature, including by bicycle, foot and public transport.

The £30,000 development was commissioned by the Robert Burns Ellisland Trust charity, which has run the site since 2020.

The trust said the plan would also look at boosting visitors to the site, creating new learning opportunities for people who visited and improving income levels, as it received no regular public subsidy.

The trust’s Joan McAlpine said: “We are so excited to work with such a talented team of experts.

“The home of Auld Lang Syne should be recognised around the world as a place to celebrate Burns, nature and Scottish culture.

“We want more people, especially young people, to be inspired by Ellisland the way Burns was inspired – and also to generate economic benefit and jobs for this part of south Scotland.”

The works would be funded by The Architectural Heritage Fund/Historic Environment Scotland, South of Scotland Enterprise and The Holywood Trust.

Delfinity Limited won the contract to develop the site after a competitive tendering exercise. The team includes Oliver Chapman Architects and HarrisonStevens landscape architects, who have worked on developing Edinburgh’s Old Town, and heritage expert Lyndsey Clark, whose experience includes projects with the V&A in Dundee and National Museums Scotland.

Hazel Allen, director of Delfinity and lead on the project, said: “The Delfinity team is thrilled to be working with the trust to develop a compelling masterplan for this unique site, so pivotal in the life of Burns.

“Delfinity has a strong track record in the creation of robust, sustainable business models in the third and private sectors and are excited by the breadth of opportunity that the Ellisland could offer.”

The trust said engagement with the local community, cultural and youth organisations will be an essential part of working up the plan over the next six months before it is officially presented in March next year.