New lease of life for Cambo House stables


A fundRAISING initiative in support of exciting plans to restore the historic 18th century stables and coach house at an East Neuk estate is set to be stepped up.

Last summer the Cambo Institute on the Cambo Estate, Kingsbarns, was awarded a first round pass of £84,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the ambitious proposals being led by Sir Peter Erskine and his wife, Lady Catherine.

It allowed them to advance to the second stage to develop detailed proposals to secure a further £854,000 towards the total project cost of £2.2 million to develop and restore the buildings, which are currently dilapidated and redundant, as well as the estate gardens.

It is envisaged that the refurbished buildings would provide improved facilities for the growing number of school and community activities, volunteers and visitors enjoying the estate and its historic landscape.

Established in 1998 by the Erskines, the institute provides a host of learning and volunteering opportunities in heritage, the environment, arts, culture and horticulture.

The aim is that the buildings, dating from 1756 and unused since before the Second World War, will be given a new lease of life to provide a hub for the institute and its ever increasing training and educational activities.

Lady Catherine Erskine told the Citizen that the £2m funding package would allow the restoration of the stable block and coachhouse, as well as the glasshouses in the walled garden, much needed for the practical training and learning of student gardeners.

She added: ”The Stage One pass from HLF has allowed project development work to progress towards a Stage Two submission in the next few months, but Cambo Institute will still have to raise £1.15m to match the HLF funding.

“With an upsurge in interest in recent years from students wishing to study and come to Cambo Gardens for work experience, from volunteers in general and demand for educational workshops and general events, existing facilities are the main deterrent to expansion of these services.” has £30,000 to donate to local organisations through match funding – the May Match Fund starts at 9am on Monday - and will continue until all funding is allocated and the institute fund raising campaign is keen to secure match funding for any donations made on that day.

It is hoped that Localgiving will kick-start the Cambo programme and help raise awareness among the local community of the educational and volunteering opportunities provided by the institute.

Lady Catherine said:”The restoration of these buildings will be the first step of a project by the institute towards the conservation of the significant but redundant buildings, which form a central part of an intact and clearly identifiable designed landscape.”

Information on the fundraising programme can be accessed at where details of the Cambo plans are also available.

The vision is to revive the stables and coachhouse to be fully operational, providing a sustainable and sympathetic conversion. Public access and involvement with the estate will be increased by providing space for interpretation, a learning loft for groups/conferences, tearoom/restaurant, shop, offices and toilets, and accommodation for volunteers. By restoring the glasshouses and extending their use throughout the year will help to broaden volunteering, participation and training opportunities, such as Fife Employability Service.