Official launch of Bute Houses partnership

AN INNOVATIVE new partnership between four of Britain's most spectac-ular historic buildings has been officially launched at Mount Stuart.

The Bute Houses Partnership, with a membership comprising Dumfries House, Falkland Palace in Fife, Cardiff Castle and Mount Stuart itself, hopes to build on on the links between all four buildings and the Bute family itself, in both commercial and educational terms.

Guests at the event in Mount Stuart's marble hall heard a little about the past, present and future of all four buildings from Mount Stuart's own archivist, Andrew McLean; Kenneth Dunsmuir, director of business development at Dumfries House; Matthew Williams, curator of Cardiff Castle; and Ninian Stuart, the Hereditary Keeper of Falkland Palace and stewardship director of the Falkland Heritage Trust.

Host Johnny Bute said: "I'm delighted to be able to launch the Bute Houses Partnership - it is a unique collaboration.

"There are some rather special threads between these four properties, and what we are attempting to do is to join up those threads and collaborate in an interesting and stimulating partnership.

"What we want to do is maintain and strengthen these links and this shared heritage, and concentrate on the aspects of these properties that make them so interesting - their architecture, their interior decoration, their furnishings and their gardens.

"The partnership will have two strands - joint promotions in the areas of ticketing, publicity and retail, and education, through research, publications and seminars, and I'd like to think there is a prospect of further properties being involved in the partnership in future."