Stirling Politicians Back Enhanced Visitor Experience
Loch Katrine will play a pivotal role in the future of Stirling’s tourism, argues Stirling MP Alyn Smith after a visit alongside local Stirling Councillor Gene Maxwell to the popular tourism destination.
Meeting with James Fraser, CEO and Trustee of the Steamship Trust, Mr Smith and Mr Maxwell were left impressed with ongoing development and improvement plans for the world-class visitor attraction. For hundreds of years, visitors from across Scotland and the world have visited Loch Katrine, which boasts ship tours, hiking trails and cycle routes – as well as the remarkable accolade as the ‘birthplace of Scottish tourism’.
Headline projects include the ongoing fundraising campaign to repair the ‘Sir Walter Scott’ steamship , which was recently boosted by a £130,000 grant award from The National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland.
The trust is also reinstating the Roderick Dhu path, and constructing a lookout-tower and viewing platform on the very spot where famous Scottish writer and poet, Walter Scott composed his epic work ‘Lady of the Lake’ – long credited as kickstarting Scotland’s tourism industry.
Stirling MP Alyn Smith said:
‘The work James and his team do in service of Stirling’s tourism industry is extremely impressive. Attracting visitors from all over the world, Loch Katrine remains a staple in guidebooks and tours. It’s only right to harness our rich heritage and history for future generations to enjoy, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new visitor experience and sailing on the Sir Walter Scott in the near future.’
Gene Maxwell, Councillor for Trossachs and Teith Ward, said:
‘Loch Katrine has a special place in the hearts and minds of our communities, and I’m pleased to see James and his team continue to deliver for Stirling and Scotland’s wider tourism ambitions. There’s exciting things happening all over my ward, and I very much look forward to seeing the conclusion of these excellent projects. The future of Stirling’s tourism is in very safe hands indeed, thanks to the hard work and ambition of local people like James, who’ll stop at nothing to deliver for our communities.’
The Trust hopes to raise £500,000 to fund the crucial repairs, and ensure the living legend can continue to attract visitors from around the world. Members of the public can donate on their dedicated website here: www.saveoursteamship.com. The ‘Sir Walter Scott’ steamship has been grounded since January 2020 after hairline cracks were found in its boiler system.
Attached is a picture of Cllr Gene Maxwell, Alyn Smith MP and James Fraser