An iconic landmark in Helensburgh is under exciting new ownership.
VisitScotland have announced that Helensburgh Clock Tower has been purchased by The Tower Digital Arts Centre, a local charity at the heart of the town’s community.
The charity, who were supported in their purchase by Social Investment Scotland, plan to use the building as a box office for local events and festivals, which will also include a brand new café. It is hoped this new offering will act as a hub for residents and attract more visitors to the Victorian holiday resort.
The Tower Digital Arts Centre is a converted church in the heart of Helensburgh dedicated to developing the digital and cultural economy of the area. Its founder, Brian Keating, is a key tourism player in the region tourism as the Chairman of social enterprise VisitHelensburgh and a former board member of the Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative.
The Clock Tower, which was formerly a VisitScotland iCentre, received a number of bids which were assessed based on detailed information provided by each prospective buyer. The scoring was carried out by key VisitScotland staff with community benefits a major consideration.
The new owners will explore the possibility of joining an impressive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs). Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme ties in with the national tourism organisation’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign and harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland. There are already ten VIPs in Helensburgh including Shiloh Bed and Breakfast and Cattle and Creel Steakhouse and Seafood Bar.
David Adams McGilp, Regional Director for VisitScotland, said: “It’s fantastic that Helensburgh Clock Tower will be in the safe hands of The Tower Digital Arts Centre. The plans put forward by the charity are very exciting and I am confident that the property will once again be a superb addition to the town’s tourism product.
“VisitScotland works closely with communities, businesses and charities to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland. We look forward to working with Brian and his team.”
Brian Keating, Founder of The Tower Digital Arts Centre, said: “We are delighted that our bid has been accepted by VisitScotland. The Helensburgh Clock Tower is an historic landmark and we see this purchase as a great opportunity to highlight, improve and promote the cultural offerings in the area. The building is in need of repairs and upgrades which we will pursue subject to conversations with the Council and Historic Scotland.”
For more information about The Tower Digital Arts Centre go to www.thetoweronline.com
For more details about the VisitScotland Information Partner programme go to www.visitscotland.org
Notes to Editors
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- 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:
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- 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.
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