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First sight of new Battle of Bannockburn Visitor Centre Plans

20 June 2011

         Bannockburn visitor centre design plans

The designs for the new visitor centre to showcase the Battle of Bannockburn have been unveiled today (Monday).

The planning application for the new centre is being lodged this week, revealing the dramatic new look for the centre.

Information boards detailing the plans will be onsite at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre from 20 June,  allowing members of the public to see the new plans that have been lodged with Stirling Council.

The new centre has been designed by award-winning architects Reiach and Hall as part of the project to enhance the presentation of the battle, its significance to our history and the visitor facilities available in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014.

The project – an ambitious partnership between heritage agency Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland – was announced in October 2010 by the then Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

Historic Scotland Chief Executive Ruth Parsons said: “In looking at all we want to achieve with world-class, cutting edge technology to immerse the visitor in the experience of battle, we quickly realised that the existing centre would not be able to accommodate everything we wanted.

“I am very excited to be able to unveil the new designs created exclusively for this project by Reiach and Hall. They bring with them a great empathy for what we want to achieve and I think they have created a design that will be the perfect canvas to the exceptional interpretation we are planning to introduce.”

National Trust for Scotland Chief Executive Kate Mavor said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to look at how we present and interpret one of the most defining moments in our history and this new centre is the first step in achieving that.

“Another key element in the design is the landscaping which will open up the views of the memorial and give them back to the people of Bannockburn as the current building prevents you from looking straight through to the iconic statue of Robert the Bruce that is recognised around the world.”

The plans will now go in front of the planning committee of Stirling Council to consider.

Visitors to the centre will be able to see an outline of the designs from Reiach and Hall architects and Ian White Associates landscape architects and a tantalising first glimpse of the interpretation concepts by Bright White.

It comes a week after lead architect Neil Gillespie was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to architecture and being made an Academician of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Neil Gillespie OBE said: ‘’Along with Landscape Architects, Ian White Associates, and Interpretation Designers, Brightwhite, we are extremely privileged to be working with The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland at The Battle of Bannockburn, a defining moment in Scottish History and a wonderful site.

“Although modest in scale our project attempts to give some gravitas back to the site, concentrating attention on the story of the battle, the rotunda, the statue of Bruce and the great prospect to the north of Stirling Castle and the Ochils.’’

2014 will be a huge year for events in Scotland – as well as the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn Scotland will also play host to the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup.

A new visitor centre will bring a cutting-edge digital interpretation to the battle of Bannockburn when it opens in 2014 and establish the site’s position as one of the most historically and culturally important places in Scotland during the commemoration of the battle’s 700 year anniversary.

Notes for editors

  • The Battle of Bannockburn Project is a joint venture by the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to provide a new visitor centre and experience for one of the most significant battles in Scotland’s history for the 700th anniversary in 2014.

    The design team include:
    • Architectural Team - Reiach and Hall with Sinclair Knight Merz (Engineer), Turner and Townsend (QS) and KJ Tait (M&E Engineers)
    • Interpretation consultant – Bright White
    • Landscape Architects – Ian White Associates
    • Digital Design - Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation (CDDV)

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • The National Trust for Scotland is one of Scotland’s leading conservation charities, which relies on the financial support of its members to fund its important work of caring for the natural and cultural heritage of Scotland for everyone to enjoy

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768096

Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr, NTS, 0844 493 2483 / 07713 786277