Fundraising has been put on hold for the Cowane’s Hospital restoration project but hopes are high for the historic building’s future.
The almshouse in Stirling dates from the 17th-century and was created by the city’s greatest benefactor the merchant John Cowane.
Since 2010 it has been run by the Cowane’s Hospital Maintenance Trust which cared for the building, opened it to the public, and developed a £3.6 million plan for the building and gardens to be refurbished, complete with a new visitor centre. However the increasingly tough fundraising environment meant the trust faced a shortfall of £330,000 in pledges needed.
Fergus Wood, CHMT Chairman, said: “While it is clearly frustrating that we cannot move ahead with an immediate restoration project, hopes are high that this wonderful part of Stirling’s heritage will have a good future. I would like to thank all our partners, supporters, staff and volunteers who have done so much for Cowane’s.
“Together we have put it on the map as a visitor attraction which is now recognised as having the potential to play a key role in the regeneration of the top of the town and developing its role as a venue for events of all kinds.”
Ownership of the hospital and gardens will now return to the Patrons of Cowane’s Hospital Trust, Scotland’s second oldest charity, which was set up by John Cowane.
Stirling Provost Christine Simpson, who is Chair of the Patrons of Cowane’s Hospital Trust, said: “It makes absolute sense to pause the restoration so we can look at the best options for the future of Cowane’s Hospital but are confident of a positive outcome.”
CHMT Chair Fergus Wood 07555 575017 or Matthew Shelley 07786 704299