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Bannockburn set for a new Visitor Centre as Culture Minister announces project for 2014

11 October 2010

A new, £5m state-of-the-art visitor centre at the site of the battle of Bannockburn will be built in time for the next year of Homecoming in 2014, Minister for Culture Fiona Hyslop announced today (Monday, 11 October).

The landmark project will see Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland work in partnership to deliver a world class visitor attraction incorporating an immersive digital experience designed to transport visitors back to the fourteenth century battle.

With Scotland hosting the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup in the same year, the project will encourage international visitors to spend more time – and more money – in Scotland. Early estimates of the economic impact indicate a 30% increase in visitors to the centre, taking it from 65,000 to 85,000 annually, with 100,000 expected in the first year.

This latest investment comes ahead of the completion of the ambitious £12 million Stirling Castle Palace Project expected in Spring 2011. This will see the restoration and refurbishment of Royal Palace at Stirling and present the Royal Lodgings as they might have appeared in the heyday of Scotland’s Stewart court in the mid 16th century.

Launching the project while visiting the existing heritage centre with Kate Mavor of The National Trust for Scotland, Councillor Scott Farmer, Depute Council Leader, Kathleen Taylor and Deborah Murray from Stirling Council and children from Clermiston Primary School, Edinburgh, Ms Hyslop said:

“This project will deliver a world class visitor attraction with a immersive digital experience that will give visitors a real flavour of the battle. We believe it will set new standards for Scotland’s tourism industry, generate significant additional income for the local economy and increase visitor numbers.

“The regeneration project will have a positive impact on the Bannockburn Heritage  Centre, the local community of Stirling  - already looking forward to the unveiling of the £12m Stirling Castle Palace Project - and Scotland as a whole.  

“During the second year of homecoming in 2014, Scotland plays host to the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup – our country will be on an international platform – and this project will allow us to celebrate our heritage and promote Scotland as a tourist destination to the world.

“A new visitor centre will bring a leading 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 Battle’s 700 year anniversary.”

Kate Mavor, Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland said:

“Bannockburn is one of Scotland’s most significant sites and we want to ensure that everyone understands this place’s part in the development of the nation.  

“As the conservation charity charged with its care, we have a responsibility to  ensure that the legacy of the events that occurred here lives on and is recognised by future generations.

“We are very excited by the possibilities as we embark on this new and ambitious partnership project and look forward to working with Stirling Council, community representatives and others to ensure that Bannockburn and central Scotland’s many historic sites play their part in telling the story of Scotland.”

A design team of consultants are working with Historic Scotland and the Trust to develop proposals for improving visitor facilities and are currently looking at new interpretation of the Battle and the site featuring new digital media, visitor facilities, landscape and car parking improvements and conservation of the listed monuments and their setting. The next step in the project is the approval of the interpretation plan, scheduled for January 2011.  

The Minister added: “The interpretative designers, working in partnership with the Centre for Digital Documentation and Visualisation, will ensure a high quality immersive experience  for all those interested in Scotland, its history and culture. Visitors will experience and explore battlefield tactics of the period for themselves through a unique approach telling the real story of the battle of Bannockburn.”

“Scotland’s historic environment contributes more than £2.3 billion to the Scottish economy - a key factor in ensuring sustained economic growth and supporting our tourism. We are attracting thousands of visitors to Scotland every year thanks to our heritage sites and our national trend shows an impressive 2.5% increase. The Government’s investment in Bannockburn will see an economic return for Scotland and build upon our current success in tourism.”

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 the 2014. It is a four-year project with a £5 million budget which is in the form of a grant from Historic Scotland to the Trust

  • 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. For more information visit

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

For further information

Lisa Nicholson
Communications and Media Manager
Communications and Media
0131 668 8852 or 07500 065 438