What we want to do


Shambellie House sits in 2.33ha on the edge of New Abbey and was built in 1856.  It was given to the Scottish nation in 1977 when it became the National Museum of Costume. The museum closed in 2013. 

Shambellie House Trust was set up in 2015 in response to the museum closure, and has been able to get funding to develop its business case. This included: 

  • Workshops with local experts interested in delivering courses
  • Market research
  • Design and costs for alterations 

This work has now been completed at a cost of £28,000 and is summarised here and in a leaflet available by contacting us.

The Business Plan

The workshops brought together an amazing group of enthusiastic and skilled tutors from a broad range of disciplines.  Together they are offering enough courses to run two a day for most of the first year rising to three a day by the third year.  The market research confirms a strong and growing market for these courses.

But to deliver these high quality courses we need to make some alterations to the house to

  • Make it fully accessible to all
  • Add a multi-purpose room for larger classes
  • Provide all the necessary services
  • Add 15 bedrooms for the residential courses

The architect has produced an exciting scheme that protects and enhances the house while giving us the extra space and services we need at an estimated cost of £6.1m.

Principal Floor Plan

Lower Ground Floor Plan

The Plan estimates that even in the most pessimistic option the project will break even by the third year.  In future any surplus will be used to provide access to courses for disadvantaged groups.  

New staff will be employed to run the house, while services such as catering, grounds maintenance and some student accommodation will be contracted out locally.

An experienced group of tutors will set standards, help develop new courses and mentor new tutors.

We now need your help to turn this project into a reality

We know this project will

  • Contribute to small local creative businesses 
  • Bring in more visitors
  • Create new employment
  • Contribute to the local economy
  • Promote the area’s culture and environment
  • Protect the heritage of the house and grounds 
  • Keep public access
  • Provide courses for disadvantaged groups

To take this further we need to raise £10,000 – this is where we need your help. 

View from South West.