Scottish pâté experts, Castle MacLellan, has surprised four local good causes with a whopping combined donation of £90,000 in the run up to Christmas.

As part of the charitable Kavli Trust, we donate profits to charities and good causes locally, nationally and internationally. The four local charities, nominated by Castle MacLellan colleagues, were each invited to our site here in Kirkcudbright to receive the much-needed funds.

A huge £55,000 has been donated to Kirkcudbright Scout Hall for its improvement project which will provide modern facilities that will bring it into the 21st century. Lack of investment for more than 25 years has meant that the hall no longer safely meets the needs of the various community groups that use the space. An extension to the side of the hall will provide a fully-functional, modern kitchen, as well as brand-new male, female and accessible toilets.

Kirkcudbright Development Trust received £15,000 towards its project to create an activity and resource centre in the former Johnston School in the Dumfries and Galloway town. The development will include a dedicated Youth Activity Centre, Gin Distillery and Visitor Centre, and a Dark Skies Visitor Centre and Planetarium. Many Castle MacLellan colleagues attended the former school and nominated the Dark Skies Visitor Centre and Planetarium as a way of supporting its sustainable future, with the donation supporting two interactive and educational exhibits.

£10,000 has also been donated to both Castle Douglas High School and the Army Cadet Force. Castle Douglas High School will use its donation to support its Learning Centre, purchasing much-needed equipment that will help the pupils with skills, knowledge, values and attitude to lead a happy and fulfilling life. The Army Cadet force will use its £10,000 to improve facilities in its meeting hall and finance better equipment.

John Johnson of Kirkcudbright Development Trust commented: “We’re working hard to restore the much-loved building at the former Johnston School and Castle MacLellan’s generosity puts us one step closer to achieving that.

“The Dark Skies Visitor Centre and Planetarium will be something quite unique and special to Kirkcudbright and this donation will help enable us to install really high-quality interactive displays. On behalf of the Development Trust, I would like to offer thanks to Castle MacLellan colleagues who were schooled there and nominated us for this much-appreciated support.”

Head Teacher at Castle Douglas High School, James Smith, added: “Thanks to Castle MacLellan’s kind donation, we’re now able to equip our Learning Centre with vital new equipment.

“The Learning Centre is at the heart of the school and takes in young people from across the Stewartry whose complex physical, developmental and/or learning needs mean that mainstream education is not always the most viable option. This donation will help the team of teachers and assistants who work tirelessly to seek ways of promoting effective learning.”

Kirkcudbright Army Cadets’ Rhona Maxwell said: “This very generous donation has been a wonderful early Christmas gift. At the Detachment in Kirkcudbright, the building currently can’t be used to its full potential and some activities can’t be carried out due to the repairs required and lack of equipment and safe storage. The funding from Castle MacLellan will mean more young people will be able to benefit from what Army Cadets can offer and in turn, more can be done to help our local community.”

Elaine McConnell, General Manager at Castle MacLellan, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be able to present four very worthy causes with this donation. Charity is the backbone of everything we do here at Castle MacLellan and supporting our local community is of paramount importance to us.

“Christmas is an exceptionally busy time of year for us, with the nation stocking up on pâté as they gear up to the festive period. Seeing the difference we can make to causes close to our hearts makes all of the hard work now, and throughout the year, so worthwhile.”