We are delighted to welcome two more members to the leadership team that is preparing to open Scotland’s new National Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.
Dr Simon Davidson, who has been the Creative Director at CatStrand Arts and Visitor Centre in New Galloway since 2015, has been appointed as the Centre Director of Moat Brae House.
Kirsty Tibbetts, currently the National Trust’s Visitor Services Manager at Wordsworth House and Garden in Cockermouth, will be the new Visitor and Commercial Services Manager.
Both have extensive experience in running cultural visitor attractions and will take up their posts in early October.
Dame Barbara Kelly, PPMBT Chair, said:“We are delighted to welcome two such experienced people to our team. Both have a great deal of expertise in developing successful visitor attractions.
“They are joining us at a particularly important time as we prepare to fit out the house and get everything ready for it to open to the public next spring.”
Simon was a marine archaeologist before taking a PhD in Cultural Heritage Management and embarking on a career in arts and cultural management.
He said: “My background is cultural heritage and arts management but I’ve also been involved in youth arts development across the region, nurturing interest in the arts and creating opportunities for young people to develop their skills and careers, so it’s wonderful to be working on a project that combines all of these.
“J. M. Barrie recalled his affection for Moat Brae citing the years he spent as a teenager in Dumfries as the happiest of his life, so it is wonderful that this inspirational building and garden have been restored to allow future generations to experience their magic.
“It is the perfect setting for a national centre of children’s literature and storytelling and I have no doubt that Moat Brae will very quickly become an asset that the whole region will benefit from.”
Kirsty went to school in Edinburgh before taking a degree in Medieval History and Archaeology at St Andrews before beginning a career that has seen her work at attractions in Scotland and England.
She said: “I am thrilled to be part of the team saving such an iconic location for all fans of literature – children, and adults who never really grew. We’ll be working hard to make sure visitors have an enjoyable experience when they come to Moat Brae.”
Once complete Moat Brae House, in Dumfries, will feature a learning and education suite, café, shop and magical interpretation to inspire visitors, to stimulate children’s imagination and reveal the many stories the house has to tell.