Scots - Broad reach of the bard

Pupils across Scotland are to be given the chance to broaden their knowledge of Robert Burns, thanks to a special fund being provided by the Scottish Government.

As part of the build-up to next year's 250th anniversary of the birth of Scotland's bard, a fund has been established to help schools visit the Burns Heritage Museum, being built in Alloway, Ayrshire.

Alex Salmond, the First Minister, said: "I view Burns as the Scot of the millennium and through the new museum, through the other Burns-related facilities in Ayrshire and beyond, and through funding support for school visits, we will ensure we preserve his legacy so that future generations can learn more about Scotland's greatest cultural icon."

The museum will form the main part of the Burns experience in Alloway, along with his birthplace cottage, the Burns monument and gardens, Brig o' Doon (pictured), Alloway Auld Kirk and a connecting walkway to all the sites. The project is due for completion in 2010.

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