Helping it Happen - Supporting Rural Success Helping it Happen - Supporting Rural Success Helping it Happen - Supporting Rural Success
Case Studies > Facilitating Development

Monymusk Estate

Case Study Facilitating Development Monymusk Estate
Case Study Facilitating Development Running Monymusk for the past 39 years, Sir Archie Grant is conscious of the role he plays in moulding the sustainability of the local community. “You want the community to develop gradually over time, not as a stop-start economy of exponential growth – you want the communities to enjoy straight growth, the local landlord is intrinsic in making this happen.”

According to Sir Archie, The Monymusk Master Plan sought to increase the number of houses in the village, and in doing so has had a substantial effect on school attendance, reflected by an increase to three teachers. Additionally, the Monymusk Muddy Run was an idea created in connection with the village school. The intention was to encourage children to walk or run one mile before school each day, with free access to the Monymusk grounds, culminating in a run with up to 250 entrants. It has since been noted that the boys have paid significantly more attention in class, there has been a reduction in fighting and bullying in the playground, and obesity is no longer a significant problem in the school. The programme has been considered a “great success” by teachers.

The Monymusk Boule Tournament is an annual occurrence in the village square, organised by Neil McCather on land provided by the estate. Sir Archie opens the game himself each year, with a short speech in French, underlining the potential reach of the small village. Sir Archie remarked, “who knows, maybe one day we will be able to welcome Monsieur Macron to our Boule Tournament”.

The village thrift shop which is organised by Lorna Pole and a string of local volunteers, began with a two-week trial run. Lorna provides generous homebaking, providing an immediate sense of home comfort in a village built on foundations of community cohesion. Sir Archie admits to being a regular visitor to the shop, drawn in by the home-baked treats. Having raised £150,000 from bric-a-brac alone in the past 6 years, the shop has provided extensive development opportunities; the local hall has benefitted in the form of a refurbishment, and the Christmas lights have been upgraded and improved.

The estate supplies the lights and electricity each year for the Monymusk Christmas lights, a subtle yet distinctly festive display of crystal white tree lights. The ceremony to switch on the lights, run by Alison Beaton, is attended by a huge number of locals, drawing the community together.

Sir Archie Grant commented, “I think it’s important to have a can-do attitude. As a landlord, I’m not there to stand in the way, but to allow things to happen in future, as a facilitator.” However, Sir Archie is not only a prominent figure amongst community events, he is passionate about maintaining the image of Monymusk, willingly donning his high-visibility jacket alongside community members, to collect litter from the roadsides. In total, Sir Archie reckons that he has collected 50-60 bags of litter from local roadsides each spring.

Sir Archie concludes that local estates are vital to “preserve the history of the place, the landscape, the buildings. It is important to look at the long-term.”
Scottish Land & Estates
Stuart House, Eskmills Business Park, Musselburgh, EH21 7PB

t 0131 653 5400   e   w