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Preparatory work on repairing the crumbling harling of Braemar Castle is set to get underweay thanks to a highly successful Crowdfunding Appeal.

The appeal aimed to raise £10,000 to be matched by Heritage Lottery funding to make £20,000.

The final total exceeded the target and, with gift aid donations, reached £22,294.50 in the allocated 56 days.

Castle fundraiser and project manager, Matt Halliday, said: “It is a fantastic achievement and we are so grateful.

“We had donations from 71 people from modest to extremely large and we want to thank everyone who helped. Every single donation helped get us there.

“The first task is to prepare test patches of harling on the castle so we can examine how they perform through a Braemar winter.

“Temperatures here can get very low so the harling mix must be able to withstand -26F. Of course, that is just the beginning. We now have the challenge of raising probably around £1 million to do the reharl.”

Braemar Castle is operated by the local community as a Visitor Attraction on a 50-year improving lease from Invercauld Estate with more than 50 volunteers involved in its operation.

Since taking over ten years ago, Braemar Community Limited has raised more than £500,000 to repair the roof and chimneys and has tripled visitor numbers.

New jobs have been created with a full-time manager now in place and three part-time summer staff.

BCL is now in the process of preparing a ten-year masterplan including a complete reharl, a new visitor centre with extended car park and the redevelopment of the grounds.