David Livingstone’s birthplace starts new adventure with £4m National Lottery funding

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A £4million investment from the National Lottery is set to redevelop David Livingstone’s birthplace into a vibrant new museum and leading tourist attraction.

Described as 'Africa’s first freedom fighter', David Livingstone is of immense international importance, yet he remains largely unrecognised in Scotland, the country of his birth. 

That’s all set to change with £4m investment from HLF to transform his birthplace into a leading tourist attraction appealing to visitors from across the world. The Scottish Government is investing £1.375m to the project and Historic Environment Scotland has committed £575,000.

The story behind the man

Born in 1813 in a cramped mill home in Blantyre, David Livingstone started his working life aged ten in a cotton factory. However, his passion for education and exploration, and his deep faith led him to Christian missionary work and 30 years’ exploring Africa, often in places where no European had previously ventured.

His discoveries provided a body of knowledge that is still being studied today. The respect he gained from African chiefs opened the door to other missionaries, and he inspired abolitionists of the slave trade and influenced Western attitudes towards Africa.

Transforming his birthplace

With the help of HLF support, his birthplace will be redeveloped into a vibrant new museum celebrating the inspirational story of how a poor millworker became one of the most popular British heroes of the Victorian era and a hero of Africa today.

“Thanks to National Lottery players, David Livingstone’s birthplace is set to become a valuable education resource and world tourist destination.”Head of HLF Scotland, Lucy Casot

Commenting, Head of HLF Scotland, Lucy Casot, said: “The life of David Livingstone is both incredible and inspirational yet his pioneering work is recognised more in Africa than it is in Scotland where he was born. In the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology, it’s timely that, thanks to National Lottery players, David Livingstone’s birthplace is set to become a valuable education resource and world tourist destination.”

International Development Minister Alasdair Allan said: “David Livingstone remains to this day a deeply inspirational and iconic figure to many people here in Scotland, in Africa and across the world. Principles of global humanitarianism and solidarity lay behind much of his work.

“The reinvigoration of these historic buildings and surrounding grounds, aided by the Scottish Government’s £1.375m funding, will create new spaces and opportunities for people to learn about the important legacy of one of Scotland’s national heroes.”

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