A NEWLY restored giant three-dimensional map of Scotland was among the highlights of a recent visit to the Peebles area by VisitScotland Chairman John Thurso.
The Great Polish Map of Scotland, which lies in the grounds of Barony Castle Hotel, has been painstakingly restored by a group of volunteers over a seven-year period, after lying abandoned for more than three decades.
Lord Thurso visited the structure as part of a recent tour of the Tweed Valley area. The map was originally commissioned by Polish war veteran Jan Tomasik and designed and built by Polish students in the 1970s with the help of local volunteers.
He also stopped off at Glentress Forest to learn more about the planned £11.3 million investment between Forest Enterprise Scotland and Forest Holidays to create 56 secluded eco-cabins, new biking trails and a walking route in the Tweed Valley.
The private and public sector investment has the potential of generating an extra £1 million into the local economy each year and employing up to 60 people.
The Tweed Valley site will add to Forest Holiday’s two existing locations in Scotland at Strathyre, Perthshire and Ardgarten, Argyll, which are run in partnership with Forest Enterprise Scotland.
The visit to Peebles followed a two-day tour of the wider region offering Lord Thurso the opportunity to meet with business leaders and industry stakeholders to gain a better understanding of both positive developments as well as the challenges facing the tourism industry in the region.
Tourism is at the centre of economic success in the region, supporting 4,000 jobs, sustaining communities, generating £76 million in revenue and providing a shop window for business activity.
Lord Thurso, VisitScotland Chairman said: “I was delighted to take the opportunity to visit the restored Great Polish Map of Scotland as part of my visit to the Scottish Borders and during the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. It is a fantastic achievement for this group of volunteers to have reached this stage and is testament to their hard work and dedication.
“From history and heritage to outdoor pursuits, there really is something for everyone in the Scottish Borders. The planned development at Glentress is an exciting addition to the tourism offering in the region. Scotland’s reputation as a quality destination relies on continued investment and innovation to ensure the current provision meets future demand. By working closely with our local communities and businesses, we can showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland to develop and deliver innovative initiatives that grow the visitor economy.”
Keith Burns, Secretary of Mapa Scotland, which restored the Great Polish Map of Scotland said: “We were delighted to meet Lord Thurso on his recent visit to the Scottish Borders and to showcase the newly restored map. Our group of volunteers have worked hard over the last few years to restore the structure to its former glory and we are now looking for local groups and organisations to become more involved in its upkeep. To receive the seal of approval from Lord Thurso is a welcome boost for all of our hard work.”
Fiona Murray, Forest Enterprise Scotland said: “It is a very exciting time for forest tourism in the Scottish Borders with the recent tourism summit highlighting the sector’s importance. Planning applications have just been submitted for the new cabins and trails at Glentress which could prove a huge boost to the Tweed Valley and south Scotland economy.”
Robin Daniels, Forest Holidays said: “Scotland is an inspirational destination and Forest Holidays’ guests who visit our existing locations are drawn to the beautiful landscapes, the opportunities for outdoor adventure and the warm welcome from surrounding attractions and the local community. It was very encouraging to discuss our proposals for Glentress with Lord Thurso. We share Visit Scotland’s aims of showcasing the rich and interesting tapestry of the Borders and our proposed investment with Forest Enterprise Scotland aims to bring opportunities both for visitors and the economy of the wider area.”
For more information on the Great Polish Map of Scotland, visit: http://www.mapascotland.org/
For more information on the planned development at Glentress Forest, visit: http://scotland.forestry.gov.uk/news-releases/1823-forest-tourism-boost-for-tweed-valley
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