Plans are unveiled for McLaren museum

A PRESS conference was held yesterday, Wednesday, June 15, to announce plans to establish the first Museum of World Rugby using the legacy of the late Bill McLaren as its theme.

The project is being led by the Bill McLaren Foundation which has a clear vision - to develop a worldwide attraction in the centre of Hawick.

The theme of the museum will be the story of rugby which will be told in Bill’s voice as far as possible.

BBC Scotland has pledged unprecedented support to the project by granting free access to their archive of matches on which Bill commentated. Their contribution will supply the backbone of the museum’s appeal.

The plans also include a parallel educational resource in the form of a series of opportunities for children to learn more about rugby, television and the wider skills of articulacy and use of English.

Scottish Borders Council is proposing to support the Foundation in finding a suitable site for the Museum as well as assisting with information, advice and support as it seeks to develop a design for the Museum, prepare a business plan and identify funders.

A report containing these proposals will be considered at the full Council meeting next Thursday, June 23.

The estimated cost of the museum project is in the region of £3-4 million and the intention of the Foundation is to raise this sum from a variety of sources including major funders, gifts, donations and sponsorship.

Yesterday’s press conference called for support from the Hawick community and the wider Borders public to help with fundraising and asked for their input in a public consultation on the potential location of the museum.

It is planned to have the museum up and running within the next three years.

The press conference was led by local Councillor Jock Houston; SBC’s Director of Education and Lifelong Learning, Glenn Rodger; Chair of the Bill McLaren Foundation, Malcolm Murray and Directors of the Bill McLaren Foundation, Alistair Moffat, Ian Landles and Bill’s daughter, Linda Lawson.