The Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by Her Majesty The Queen on 4 September 2017.
- The ceremony, with activities taking place at both sides of the bridge, will include:
- A welcome address by the First Minister
- A blessing by the Moderator of General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
- A specially commissioned poem read by Scotland’s Makar
- Live performances showcasing a cross-section of Scotland’s music talent
The new bridge opens to traffic for the first time on 30 August, prior to closing on 2-3 September for the Queensferry Crossing Experience, when 50,000 members of the public have the unique opportunity to walk across the bridge – following a ballot that attracted almost 250,000 entries.
On 5 September, an additional ‘community day’ has been added, giving up to 10,000 more people from local schools and community groups on both sides of the Forth the chance to walk on the bridge. From 6 September onwards the bridge will re-open to traffic with no pedestrian access.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“It is very fitting that the Queensferry Crossing will be officially opened by The Queen, exactly 53 years to the day from when she opened the Forth Road Bridge. Importantly, this celebratory event will recognise the thousands of people who have been involved in the construction of the new bridge.
“The Queensferry Crossing is a symbol of a confident, forward-looking Scotland and – as well as providing a vital transport connection for many years to come – it is a truly iconic structure and a feat of modern engineering.
“The Queensferry Crossing Experience attracted huge interest from across Scotland and beyond, demonstrating the widespread excitement and pride in the bridge. I am pleased that we are able to respond to that demand with an extra day being set aside for pedestrian access so that more people from the local area, particularly young people, can enjoy this historic occasion."
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, added:
“Scotland will celebrate a moment in history on 4 September as the Queensferry Crossing is officially opened by HM The Queen. At this unique moment, the country will become the world’s first destination to have three bridges spanning three centuries in one stunning location. It is a time to not only celebrate Scotland as a nation of pioneering innovation, design and engineering, but also give thanks all those who have worked tirelessly to create this unique new structure.
“People are fascinated worldwide by bridges, whether it’s for their beauty, grandeur or breath-taking engineering prowess. The addition of the Queensferry Crossing consolidates the Forth Bridges as global icons of Scotland and we look forward to showcasing all three awe-inspiring structures to the world for many years to come.”
The 1.7 mile Queensferry Crossing – the world’s longest three-tower, cable-stayed bridge – is set to be delivered at a cost of £1.35 billion, £245 million under the original budget.
Following the inception of plans for a new bridge in 2007, construction commenced in June 2011 and the project has involved more than 15,000 people, including the creation of 1,200 jobs in the local area, with thousands more indirectly employed
The Queensferry Crossing in numbers:
23,000 miles of cables, almost enough to wrap around the earth’s equator
35,000 tonnes of steel, the equivalent of 80 Boeing 747s
207 metres in height above high tide – 50 metres taller than the Forth Road Bridge and 97 metres more than the rail bridge
The Queensferry Crossing Experience is a free public event to give 50,000 people the opportunity to walk across the bridge before it becomes a motorway.
Further details about the community day, and the local schools and groups involved, will be set out in due course.
Notes to Editors
- Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
- The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
- For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh) 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
- 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
- The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
- For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017