13 February 2012

Tourism Boost For Galloway Forest Park

Forestry Commission Scotland is set to invest £4.5 million into boosting forest and woodland recreation in Galloway Forest Park.

The plan is part of a wider tourism strategy to modernise the visitor experience and double visitor spending in the local economy by 2015.

By upgrading a number of key visitor sites, the tourism draw will bring added benefits to the local economy.

The funding will develop a new visitor complex at Kirroughtree, complete a major refit at Clatteringshaws and fund an upgrade at Glentrool’s centre.

The tourism boost comes on the back of a recent £300,000 investment in the park’s walking trails and the successes associated from being awarded Dark Sky Park status.

Stewart Stevenson, Minister for Climate Change and the Environment said:

“The investment is a major commitment towards developing and supporting forest based tourism in and around the Galloway Forest Park.

“The area has a fantastic reputation for its rugged outdoor landscapes and is a firm favourite for walkers, wildlife enthusiasts and mountain bikers.

“The Commission’s plan is to improve the visitor experience for everyone coming to Galloway Forest Park. This should be welcome news for visitors, the community and local businesses that rely on tourism.”

The Commission is to share their plans for Galloway Forest Park with key stakeholders and the community at information and discussion events held at Kirroughtree visitor centre this week.

Main stakeholders have been invited to a morning meeting this Friday (17th Feb) and the public will be able to see plans that same afternoon from 2pm to 6:30pm.

Rob Soutar, Forestry Commission Scotland’s District Manager added:

“Galloway Forest Park is the Commission’s biggest forest park in Scotland. Its forests, woodlands and moorlands are an amazing asset and are a key component in supporting the area’s tourism sector.

“Our visitor centres were developed many years ago when visitor numbers were lower. Since then we’ve worked hard to make our national forests and woodlands a key draw for visitors and the new facilities will be the icing on the cake.”

The new facilities are due to be completed early in 2014.

Stewart Stevenson
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