IT’S one of the oldest, most historic and well-loved attractions in Dunfermline – and it could be closed by Easter if it doesn’t find £5000 immediately.

Last week, we were first to bring you the news that Abbot House desperately needs the cash injection to ride out the next three months, and we’re getting behind the campaign to keep it open.

The Press prides itself on being at the heart of the community and so is Abbot House. Since we broke the news, generous West Fifers turned out in force to support the award-winning attraction, both in person and online.

And the message is clear: Abbot House CANNOT and MUST NOT shut.

Director Catherine Gillies said, “We can safely say thanks to the Dunfermline Press – we had a very good weekend.

“In terms of the life of the place and the enthusiasm of the people, it’s been amazing.

“People are saying it cannot close. We doubled what we usually do on Sunday and we had an extra third in on Saturday.

“We have had lots of donations, we had a donation button on our website and £350 has come straight in.

“People have tremendous affection for Abbot House and the feedback is coming in all the time that it cannot close and that’s what I want to hear.

“I haven’t heard anybody saying, ‘Tough luck, you just have to put up with it’.

"It’s unthinkable that it should close.” West Fifers can show their support just by “coming in and buying cups of tea”, but thanks to the numerous offers of help, a “cracking” fund-raiser with music, cabaret and raffles is already being planned for next month.

Catherine added, “It’s still being finalised but one of the immediate things is that Jack Pryde, of Discover Dunfermline Tours, is going to do his guided walks beginning and ending at Abbot House, so people can come in and have a cup of tea and look around.” Last year, Abbot House won the Enterprising Museum of the Year award, for its brew house project – which in turn scooped first and second prizes at the Kingdom of Fife CAMRA Real Ale and Cider Festival. Project officer Gillian Ramsay also took the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions (ASVA) ‘Rising Star’ gong, presented to people under 30 working in Scottish tourism.

In 2013, it won silver awards in both the Fife Business Diversity Awards and the Scottish Business Diversity Awards for its work with volunteers and staff struggling to re-enter the workforce after suffering disability or illness, as well as the Fife Council award for employment diversity.

And Catherine underlined again how much Abbot House belongs to the community – and just what Dunfermline stands to lose if it shuts.

She said, “What strikes me daily, constantly, is how much this place is run by the community.

"We have a volunteer board and more than 50 volunteers – the number of volunteers to paid staff is 10 to one. One of the volunteers told me, ‘If Abbot House closes, I don’t know what I’m going to do’ – it’s such a huge part of her week and her social network.

“People drop in very casually, have a tea or look at books. I like that people don’t come with a great sense of occasion, it’s a meeting place.” If you would like to help Abbot House in any way, get in touch by calling 01383 733266 or email Donations can also be made online at