Please help us to stop the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) from turning a historic house into luxury holiday accommodation open only to the select few!
Inverewe House, Garden and Estate, on the north-west coast of Scotland, was left to the National Trust for Scotland by Mairi Sawyer, for the enjoyment of Scotland's people. As a popular visitor attraction, the garden is a vital part of the local economy, bringing visitors to the area and providing employment.
At the centre of the garden is historic Inverewe House, a rare example of a 1930s art deco inspired country house, of which there are very few examples left in the country. The house has been empty for several years and has been allowed to decline. There have been two proposals for its future use. One is to use it as a visitor and educational centre for the garden with a variety of uses such as running exhibitions, courses, scientific and horticultural study and as a lasting tribute to its founders. The other is to convert it into luxury holiday accommodation. The NTS announced at a recent public meeting in Poolewe that it had decided on the luxury holiday accommodation option.
Conversion to a visitor and educational centre could be achieved while preserving the historic interior of the house. It would provide indoor visitor facilities (there are currently none within the garden and very little in the area for visitors to do on wet days), would be a lasting monument to the garden's founders and crucially, could attract more visitors to Inverewe, thereby increasing revenue for the restoration of the garden, and providing several much-needed local jobs.
Conversion to holiday accommodation is likely to provide at most one part time cleaning job, could destroy much of the historic interior due to the upgrading needed for luxury accommodation, and would bar the majority of visitors from the house in favour of a select few who could afford such accommodation - making a mockery of the NTS slogan 'a place for everyone' and their stated objectives of 'access, enjoyment, conservation and education'. The area is already over-provided with holiday accommodation and new accommodation could merely take business away from other accommodation providers.
STOP PRESS! Following the publication of this petition, an NTS spokesman has assured us that conversion to holiday accommodation is not a 'fait accompli' and that the future of the house is still under review, so it's even more important that folk sign if they feel strongly that the house should not be converted to holiday accommodation, to let the NTS know the depth of feeling against this plan.