Lottery windfall for German PoW camp village
A Perthshire village has received £638,900 in lottery funding, days after a former German prisoner of war left it his entire estate.
Comrie Development Trust has been awarded the Heritage Lottery Funding to restore 11 World War 2 Nissen Huts at Cultybraggan.
Heinrich Steinmeyer, who was held in the PoW camp there in 1944, recently left the trust £384,000 in his will.
Ten of the huts will be converted into self-catering accommodation.
The eleventh will be restored as a common room displaying the history of the camp, which was built in 1941 and had the capacity to hold 4,500 inmates.
It was a category A camp, designed to hold German prisoners who were regarded as committed Nazis.
Mr Steinmeyer, a former member of the Waffen SS, left his entire estate to the village of Comrie, to help its elderly people, as gratitude for the "kindness" he was shown during his internment.
'Great new resource'
The trust has already been awarded £36,350 by Scottish and Southern Energy towards the cost of connecting the huts to the existing camp biomass boiler.
Historic Scotland has also pledged support, anticipated to be more than £100,000, to help repair the huts.
The camp and 50 acres of nearby hill ground was purchased by the trust in 2007 under Community Right to Buy legislation.
Trust secretary Andrew Reid said: "Comrie Development Trust is grateful to its funders for providing the opportunity to deliver a great new resource at the community-owned Cultybraggan Camp, and for the Strathearn area."
The Heritage Lottery Fund has also announced it will give £423,000 to transform Dunkirk "little ship" Skylark IX into a floating museum.
Built as a passenger cruiser for 75 people in 1927, Skylark IX was called to the aid of the stranded Allied troops in Dunkirk in 1940.
The ship and the ordinary seamen who sailed her transported 600 soldiers to safety.
The ship sank on Loch Lomond in 2010 after falling into disrepair, but was raised by the Royal Navy following a veterans' campaign.
Its restoration will be used as a training programme for recovering drug addicts from Alternatives in Dumbarton.
Lucy Casot, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: "What these two projects have in common is that they are part of Scotland's World War Two history and that, sadly, they are both in a sad state of repair.
"Thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are delighted to be able to help bring them back to life, not in the way that they were first intended, but in a way that is relevant to today.
"This will not only help secure their future, it will bring enjoyment and learning to very many people and a boost to their local economies."