a £500,000 grant to help secure the future of Loanhead’s Mavisbank House has been announced.
The news coincided with a visit to Midlothian by Fiona Hyslop, cabinet secretary for culture and external afairs, on Tuesday.
She witnessed the signing of a concordat agreement between Historic Scotland, Midlothian Council, the Mavisbank Trust and the Edinburgh & Lothians Greenspace Trust .
The deal aims to bring the historic building back into use and open the grounds to the public as a community park.
Considered one of Scotland’s most important A-listed buildings, the House was devastated by fire in 1973, although its intricately carved exterior remains.
Ms Hyslop said: “With its architectural beauty, history and international significance, the plans for Mavisbank House will not only enhance Scotland’s rich historic environment but also have the potential to become one of the most beautiful landmarks in the Lothians, delivering significant benefits locally.
“This project puts the community at its heart, and I am pleased that the partner organisations have taken such a joined up approach in seeking to achieve a positive outcome for this nationally important building and landscape.”
The Mavisbank Trust plans to raise £12 million pounds from public, private and charitable sources to restore the exterior of the building and adapt the interior to self-catering holiday accommodation and a community facility.
A programme of regular open days will give the public access to the house and the designed landscape will be partially recreated, providing community volunteering, training and educational opportunities during construction and after completion.
The signing of the concordat follows discussions led by Historic Scotland to bring together all interested parties to help secure a sustainable future for the site, and sets out the shared aims for Mavisbank House and the policies, the grounds surrounding the building.
This includes Midlothian Council making a compulsory purchase order for the house and transferring ownership to the Trust once funds have been raised.
Historic Scotland will then transfer the policies to the Trust, reuniting the house with the surrounding designed landscape.
Kenneth Lawrie, Chief Executive at Midlothian Council said: “We are very pleased to be joining with Historic Scotland and the Mavisbank Trust in securing a future for this currently endangered iconic historic building.”