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Patricia Ferguson MSP, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport visits the Robert Burns World Federation Conference in Ayr.

The Future of the Robert Burns World Federation has been given a boost with the announcement on 10 September at our AGM by Patricia Ferguson MSP, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, of a £100,000 grant spread over the next five years.

The 250 th Anniversary of the Birth of Robert Burns in 2009 will be part of the Year of Homecoming celebrations and our Organisation will be involved in many of the events and projects which will take place throughout the World.

The following extract of the speech by the Minister will be of interest to Members unable to be with us on a very enjoyable weekend in Ayr 9/11 September.

“I am delighted to be here this morning and it is fantastic to see the dedication of so many international delegates who have travelled from far and wide to be here today.

One of the reasons I am joining you this morning is to demonstrate the Scottish Executive’s commitment and support of the Burns Federation.

As you know I consider you as KEY STAKEHOLDERS and anticipate the Federation will play a major part in the preparation for and celebration of Year of Homecoming in 2009. The 250 th anniversary of Burns’ birth is an extremely valuable opportunity to make the most of a strong partnership, which will allow us to promote our cultural heritage towards encouraging visitors from all round the World to come and see what Scotland has to offer. We want to bring our rich past history to life for those who live and work here, as a legacy for our children and for those from farther afield who are interested in finding out about their families ancestral connections with Scotland.

Towards that goal I am delighted to be able to announce here for the first time that the Scottish Executive is going to support the Robert Burns World Federation through a grant of £100K (one hundred thousand pounds) over the next 5 years to help fund your operations. I hope this will enable the Federation to flourish under the steady hand of your Board and continue to make a huge contribution to Homecoming in 2009 through your depth of knowledge and information about Burns.

As arrangements progress towards 2009 it will be necessary to establish an Advisory Board and Project Manager to support Allan Burns, who has been appointed as the Chairman of Year of Homecoming 2009. These arrangements are at an early stage but I am also very happy to confirm that Shirley Bell has kindly agreed to sit on the Advisory Board and we are delighted to have her expertise to hand representing the Federation.

I wish you every success in the future and look forward to seeing the Robert Burns World Federation go from strength to strength.”

Patricia Ferguson MSP

Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport .


We have a number of plans in the pipeline and look forward to the support of our world-wide membership in promoting the aims and objectives of the Robert Burns World Federation.

Shirley Bell

Chief Executive