The gift of the Haining was made to the people of Selkirkshire on the death of retired lawyer Andrew Nimmo-Smith, with the caveat that the A-listed building be used for cultural, historical or architectural benefit of the community.
A significant sum of money was included in the bequest when details were announced last year and it is now being administered by a Charitable Trust.
The classical borders estate and its Paladian mansion complete with bear cages and wolf cages, grabbed the headlines again this month (June 2011) when more than £37,000 in repair grants from Historic Scotland was announced for the Haining.
Cabinet secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “The Haining Estate holds the potential to use this grant to be removed from the Buildings at Risk Register.
“Times are tough but this sort of project exemplifies why we need to invest in buildings at the heart of our communities so they can continue to be a resource for us all.”
The repair work is the first phase of an overall redevelopment plan for the estate, including conversion of the mansion house to form a contemporary arts, music and literature centre.
The total project cost is estimated to be £1,137,000. When complete the Haining will join Scottish Borders tourism A-list.
Susan Edington of The Haining Charitable Trust said: “The Trust is grateful to Historic Scotland for their realisation of the importance of the estate and to the Borders as a whole.”
The work will involve the sympathetic refurbishment and repair of the buildings including roof and stonework repairs and the deconstruction and rebuilding of the gable end of the stables. Modern interiors will be designed incorporating mezzanine levels to provide the appropriate office and art space.