Bad weather blamed for £60,000 losses at former home of Sir Walter Scott

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A sub-zero start to the year contributed to losses of more than £60,000 at the former home of Sir Walter Scott, the trust which cares for the property has announced.


Increased maintenance costs at Abbotsford House in the Borders during the winter months added greatly to overall losses of £62,566 for 2018.

Plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfall in December and January resulted in burst pipes and snow plough fees.

It's understood that fewer people using Abbotsford House as a wedding and event venue also impacted on the fiscal performance of the estate.

However, the Abbotsford Trust, which manages the 200-year-old estate, says an increase in visitor numbers and a rise in donations this year have helped improve the charity's finances.

Abbotsford House suffered increased maintenance costs last winter. Picture: JPIMedia

Abbotsford House suffered increased maintenance costs last winter. Picture: JPIMedia

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Giles Ingram, Chief Executive of The Abbotsford Trust, said: “We are delighted to have welcomed 15% more visitors to Abbotsford so far this year.

"Many more people from across the Borders and into Edinburgh have been regular visitors, bringing friends and family, as word of our ‘Pay once visit free all year’ tickets, and of our new riverside paths has spread.

"We see ourselves very much as a place for our community to enjoy and share. To see people proudly introducing Walter Scott’s intriguing story to their own visitors is so rewarding.”

The property, which was famously owned by 19th century literary legend Sir Walter Scott, underwent a massive £12 million refurbishment programme in 2011.

The house's reopening in July 2013 came after a lengthy campaign to save the property and its collections following the death of Dame Jean Maxwell-Scott, the last of the writer’s descendants to live in the house.

The Abbotsford Trust is currently involved in preparations to mark the 250th anniversary of Sir Walter's birth in 2021.

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Sir Walter Scott occupied the property in the 19th century.

Sir Walter Scott occupied the property in the 19th century.