THE Abbotsford Trust, which looks after Sir Walter Scott’s historic former home near Melrose in the Scottish Borders, has announced the appointment of James Holloway CBE as Chairman of the Board of Trustees.

In addition the Trust has appointed two new Trustees, David McClay and Matthew Maxwell Scott.

James Holloway has been on the Board of Trustees at Abbotsford since February 2013 having retired in 2012 as Director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, where he oversaw a £17.6 million revamp of the historic Edinburgh attraction.

James has lectured and had numerous articles published on Scottish art and collections and Honorary Curator of the National Trust for Scotland. He also a Trustee of the Fleming Wyfold Foundation, Historic Scotland Foundation and Hopetoun House Preservation Trust, Chairman of the Edinburgh Committee of the Art Fund and a Consultant for Bonham’s auctioneers. James said:

“I’ve long been a huge fan of Sir Walter Scott and for me Abbotsford is one of the most special places there is. It is a very great privilege to be part of the team that will care for and develop the house and estate in the years ahead, helping our visitors get to know one of Scotland’s most remarkable and inspiring citizens.”

James succeeds Lord Sanderson of Bowden as Chairman, who remains on the Board of Trustees.

David McClay is Curator of the John Murray Archive at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh. David has been joint-Treasurer of the International Association of Byron Societies since 2009 and is a graduate of the Universities of Edinburgh and Liverpool. David said:

“I’m delighted to become involved in arguably one of the world’s most significant and interesting literary and historical houses, especially at a time when there are opportunities to build on such wonderful previous successes.”

Matthew Maxwell Scott, who succeeds his cousin Lucy Maxwell Scott on the Board, is the Government Affairs Adviser to Slater & Gordon LLP. Matthew was previously speechwriter to Tony Hall, Director-General of the BBC and contested a Westminster parliamentary seat in the 2015 general election. Matthew commented:

"It's a tremendous honour to become a trustee of Scott's Abbotsford and as a proud descendant of the great man I will do all I can to promote his life and works."

The Board of The Abbotsford Trust operates on a voluntary basis and has a mission to preserve, protect and improve Abbotsford and enhance knowledge and understanding about the life and works of Sir Walter Scott. Since it was formed in 2007, the Trust has raised over £12 million to safeguard Abbotsford’s future, however fundraising work continues with an additional £2.5 million being raised to create an endowment to secure the attraction’s future running costs. Donations made are being matched pound for pound by the Heritage Lottery Fund under its Catalyst Endowment Programme.