OUTLANDER stars are throwing their weight behind a final push to secure the funding for a new state-of-the-art £2m museum in Wester Ross.
Stars of the global hit based on Diana Gabaldon's bestselling books are backing the crowdfunder campaign launched to haul in the final £60,000 needed to make the Gairloch Heritage Museum scheme a reality.
People backing the campaign will have the chance to get their hands on some coveted Outlander goodies.
The museum has teamed up with Adhamh O’Broin, the Gaelic consultant for the hit TV show, to offer some great rewards. These include a limited number of Gaelic dictionaries, signed by members of the Outlander cast, including Sam Heughan who plays Jamie Fraser, and Gaelic lessons with Adhamh.
People will also be able to purchase inscribed metal plaques inspired by the Gairloch Pictish fish which will be part of a large installation that will take pride of place in the new museum.
Adhamh said: “Not many people are aware but Gairloch and Wester Ross have played an integral part to the creation of the TV series, Outlander. We use the Wester Ross Gaelic dialect throughout the series and I often called upon Gairloch man, the late Roddy Mackenzie, for advice when we were on set.
“Roddy, who was also heavily involved in the Gairloch Heritage Museum, helped us by providing accurate translations and local sayings to ensure we were portraying the language as authentically as possible. Roddy worked very closely with Roy Wentworth when Roy was compiling the well-known dictionary, Faclan is Abairtean à Ros and Iar – Gaelic words and phrases from Wester Ross – which also proved invaluable to myself and the cast whilst filming.”
The funds raised will secure the long-term future of the museum’s collections and the cultural activities it offers and the museum team hope to open the new premises in early 2019.
Dr Karen Buchanan, curator, Gairloch Heritage Museum, added: “The total cost of the project is just over £2m of which our community of supporters aims to raise 10 per cent with the remaining 90 per cent coming from public and private sector trusts, including the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“The new museum will feature expanded displays, and improved access to our collections and archives. The museum hosts the first Pictish stone found on the west coast mainland of Scotland, and its Gaelic language and literature resources are highly valued by Gaelic scholars. There will also be more space for exhibitions, and incorporate a cafe and a shop.
“The museum has been managed and run by volunteers since 1977 and is a cultural hub for Gairloch and the surrounding area. The upgrade to new premises will see the creation of a number of new jobs and training opportunities for the area.”
"This is an ambitious project, particularly for a community the size of Gairloch, and we have been blown away by the support from the local community and further afield. Wester Ross has such a rich cultural heritage and the museum plays an important part in preserving our heritage for the future. We hope that our fundraising efforts and the support from the Outlander cast will help us reach our target; the new museum will not only preserve our heritage but will also enable us to reach new audiences and educate them about our fascinating history, maybe even teaching a few words of Gaelic along the way.”
"One of the best little museums in Scotland" is how the National Trust for Scotland described Gairloch Heritage Museum. The award-winning, nationally-accredited independent museum is housed in an historic farm steading in the heart of Gairloch. Its museum, archive and library collections present a fascinating historical insight into the area and an enriching, enjoyable experience for visitors however it is losing its current premises and will be homeless by the end of 2018 meaning they require to raise these funds to secure a new home.
Museum highlights include the first Pictish stone to be found on the West Coast of Scotland; in-depth story of one of the oldest geological landscapes in the world; illicit distilling practices from the area; the Preacher’s Ark; authentic crofthouse village shop interiors; and the Fresnel lens and original mechanism from the nearby Stevenson lighthouse.
The local community has already raised over £140,000 towards the total and it is hoped that the remaining £60,000 will be raised through this crowdfunding campaign. Public and private sector awards include a Heritage Lottery grant of £725,600, and funds from the Hugh Fraser Foundation and SSE Sustainable Development Fund.
To donate to Gairloch Heritage Museum, please visit https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/gairlochheritagemuseum.
A video to support the fundraising is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCDjVmUHNOI&t=16s