A 133-acre estate and £1 million cash gift has been handed to Scotland’s only children’s hospice charity.

Children’s Hospices Across Scotland (Chas) was given the donation by Ardoch Foundation founders Peter Armitage and his family.

They have announced plans to close the foundation and hand over the Ardoch Estate on the banks of Loch Lomond to Chas, as well as £1 million.

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An 18-bedroom conference centre, event space and cottages on the estate are included in the gift.

Chas said the donation will transform the number of children and young people it can work with in the future.

The charity runs Scotland’s two dedicated hospices for children and young people, Rachel House in Kinross and Robin House in Balloch.

Currently, it said it only reaches one in three of the families of the more than 15,000 youngsters in Scotland with a life-shortening condition.

The charity does not plan to use the estate for a hospice, with the initial intention being for it to provide respite holidays for the siblings of hospice residents.

Further plans include hosting events for Chas families on the estate and using it as a centre of learning for palliative care.

The Ardoch Foundation, a social enterprise set up when the Armitage family, bought the estate in 2006, hired the conference centre to corporate clients for training and seminars, using the money raised to help finance its use of part of the year for child-focused charities.

Chas plans to retain this commercial function to bring in income when it takes over operation of Ardoch in 2021.

Rami Okasha, who becomes the chief executive of CHAS on February 1, said: “This is momentous for Chas, the children and the families we support.

“We will not use Ardoch as a hospice because we have set ourselves challenging strategic goals, including reaching more people in innovative and diverse ways.

“We are also developing our palliative services in collaboration with others, supporting staff and volunteers and increasing fundraising activity.

“The gift of Ardoch gives Chas an unparalleled opportunity to do all of this in a timescale we could never have dreamed of.”

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Mr Armitage, who turned to charitable work following a career in investment management, said: “Ardoch has a canny way of putting everything in perspective, it generates hope, joy, laughter and friendships.

“Our neighbours, Chas, can leverage this magic and share it much more widely than I can.

“Ardoch has very exciting future ahead.”