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Minister to Open Festival of the River

12 May 2009

The second annual Festival of the River at Stanley Mills will be opened by special guest, the Scottish Government Finance Minister John Swinney.

The North Tayside MSP said he is delighted to be taking part in the community festival which takes place between noon and 4pm on Sunday, 17 May.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy free entry to Historic Scotland’s Stanley Mills visitor centre which is housed in the 18th-century water mill complex beside the river.

Mr Swinney said: “I’m delighted to be opening this festival, which appears to be going from strength to strength after it was successfully launched last year.

“It’s great to see the local residents and Historic Scotland working together to put people’s heritage at the heart of community activities.

“The festival looks as if it will be great fun and I hope that free entry to the visitor centre will help bring in lots of people for a really enjoyable afternoon.”

The festival, which is organised and run by Stanley village residents, will involve a range of activities taking place outside the mills.

Kaye Finlay, manager of visitor centre and a member of the organising committee, said: “It’s great news that John Swinney is able to open this year’s festival.

“We are very much looking forward to seeing him at the event and showing him round the visitor centre.

“It promises to be a great family day out with the chance to enjoy all the interactive exhibits in the mills and lots of activities outside, like music, dancing, storytelling and much more besides.”

There will also be genealogy and arts activities, plus a chance to learn more about the natural environment with the Historic Scotland ranger service.

Free entry to the mills means two adults and two children can save £15.

  • Stanley Mills is seven miles north of Perth, off the A9. Postcode: PH1 4QE. Tel: 01738 828 268. It is open in the summer only. Tickets are £5 for adults, £2.50 for children and £3.75 for concessions.

  • The former water mill complex harnessed the power of the River Tay for cotton spinning. The first mill was built in 1786 and the last commercial operations ended in 1989.

  • In 1995 Stanley Mills was purchased by Historic Scotland with financial assistance from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The buildings are category A listed.

  • The Bell Mill and part of Mid Mill now form a visitor attraction which tells the story of Stanley Mills and provides an education centre and a venue for community use. The HLF provided £2.1 million of the £4.7 million cost of this latest phase.

  • Historic Scotland has worked with a number of local groups and former workers to gather information and conserve items associated with the mills. Memories of the workers have also been collected in an oral history project.

  • The visitor centre includes an education area which has been designed to allow schools and educational groups to carry out a wide variety of study projects linked to the Curriculum for Excellence.

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Rebecca Hamilton
Marketing and Media Manager
Marketing and Media
0131 668 8685 / 07788 923871