Visitor number up at Braemar Castle as more funding secured

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Braemar Castle has had its most successful season since the community took over five years ago.

Visitor numbers have steadily grown and, despite the current economic climate, are again up on last year.

The season culminated with a family Hallowe’en night with 100 people enjoying spooky tales, tours and a barbecue.

Chairman of Braemar Community Ltd, Simon Blackett said: “Taking on the castle has been a huge commitment for this small community and it is gratifying to see all the hard work paying off. However we still face an enormous challenge in terms of raising enough money to carry out urgent repairs and making sure the castle has a sustainable future.

The recent promise of a grant from Historic Scotland is an encouraging start.”

The Castle has been awarded £144,000 by Historic Scotland but that needs to be match funded before any work can begin. The Cairngorm National Park has also indicated that they will contribute £50,000 in Leader funding, provided it also can be match funded.

Mr Blackett said “In total we need around £1 million to carry out the repairs to the roof and to provide the sort of facilities visitors now expect at a quality attraction.”

Various fund raising activities are planned for next year, including another Jacobite Day on July 29.

Supporters are invited to join the “Friends of Braemar Castle” to endorse the efforts of the local volunteers who are hoping to contribute at least £20,000 to the fund by the end of next season. An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund is also planned.