A SCOTTISH BORDERS charity which provides training and work experience to adults with learning disabilities has become the first social enterprise in the region to sign up to VisitScotland’s Information Partner (VIP) programme.
Bread Works is an organic bakery producing artisan bread in Tweedbank. Run by the Brothers of Charity Service, Bread Works, alongside its sister organisation Gardenworks, it provides placements to adults with learning disabilities offering the opportunity to develop hands-on experience in the workplace.
Situated opposite Tweedbank Railway Station, Bread Works has now joined an exclusive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs) by committing to actively promote the local area and services offered by local businesses.
It is the first social enterprise in the region to sign up to the scheme and joins a list of 36 VIP Quality Assured businesses in the Scottish Borders.
Its membership to the scheme coincides with the opening of a new café – Whistle-stop – on site. As well as customer service skills, staff will now be offered the unique opportunity to develop knowledge and information to visitors arriving off the Borders Railway.
Bread Works Employment and Enterprise Manager, Mandy Lowrie, said: “We are delighted to join the VisitScotland Information Partner (VIP) scheme and to work together to ensure that visitors to the Scottish Borders get access to all the information they need to make the most of their visit.
“We are in an ideal location to offer passengers on the Borders Railway the chance to arrive in Tweedbank and make the short journey to our café for a bite to eat and the opportunity to discover the wide range of attractions and events in the local area.
“Our staff will also have the opportunity to interact with visitors and develop new skills and experiences that will help when they come to find employment. We are proud to display the ‘iKnow’ Scotland accreditation at our centre as recognition of our commitment to providing first-class information about the Scottish Borders as a whole.”
VisitScotland Regional Director, Doug Wilson, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bread Works to our VIP programme, the first community initiative to sign up to the scheme.
“VisitScotland’s VIP programme aims to ensure that all tourism providers can be local ambassadors and help provide information, assistance and advice on all there is to see and do here. This follows a growing trend among consumers to use online resources to plan their trips.”
The VIP programme forms part of VisitScotland’s focus on information which also includes a global online community to allow Scots and those who love Scotland to bring alive the streets, characters and landscapes of our country.
It ties in with VisitScotland’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign, harnessing the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of staff at the attractions helping visitors make the most of their trip to Scotland.
The VisitScotland Information Partner programme is open to all Quality Assured businesses, as well as community groups, local authority-operated library services and social enterprises. For more information, visit www.visitscotland.org
To find out more about the VisitScotland online community, visit: www.visitscotland.com/community
- The total number of VIP businesses in the Scottish Borders as of 15th March 2017
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
- 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)
- For holiday information on Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com
- For information about business events in Scotland go to www.conventionscotland.com
- 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