Stirling politicians have welcomed the confirmation from the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) that they will no longer keep the Bannockburn Centre closed until 2022.
Concerns were raised at the time of the original decision that the move would cost local jobs, as well as having a detrimental impact on the local Stirling economy.
However, NTS have this week confirmed that they will reopen the doors to the Bannockburn Centre in September, with no redundancies.
NTS have said that they intend to operate every part of the experience, except for the ‘game’ element, with social distancing measures in place.
Earlier in the summer, Stirling MSP Bruce Crawford, MP Alyn Smith, and Council Leader Scott Farmer met with the Chief Executive and senior management of NTS to raise their concerns, and urged the organisation to rethink the prolonged closure.
The Scottish Government confirmed a £3.8 million support package for NTS this week, to support the reopening of all of its sites across the country.
Bruce Crawford MSP said:
“This is a project close to my heart. NTS have listened to the concerns of people and have reversed their decision, which I welcome. The Bannockburn Centre is a hugely important part of the cultural offering of the Stirling area. I was involved in campaigning for its inception as it was clearly important to have a dedicated facility that marked a pivotal point in Scottish history. I am pleased that, thanks to additional Scottish Government funding, the Centre will reopen next month.”
Alyn Smith MP added:
“The Bannockburn Heritage Centre is a unique experience, and it has been a favourite destination for school trips, as well as for tourism visits. The Centre is an important part of celebrating Stirling’s and Scotland’s history, which is why Bruce Crawford, Councillor Scott Farmer and I called for urgent virtual meetings with NTS management to try to find a solution. Thanks to Scottish Government intervention, the centre is due to open next month, which is good news for locals, visitors, and businesses.”
Stirling Council Leader Scott Farmer said:
“As Council Leader, I made the commitment to working with all interested parties to make the reopening of the Bannockburn Centre a reality – and within the Council, officers were exploring all options. Footfall into the Bannockburn Centre boosts tourism-related businesses right across the Stirling area, so it was crucial that we had it up and running normally again as soon as it is safe to do so. I’m pleased that a solution has been reached, with additional support funding, to bring the experience back to the area.”