One of Scotland’s most significant heritage sites is to get a new flagship, £5million visitor centre in an ambitious partnership project between Historic Scotland and the National Trust.
The state-of-the-art centre at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn near Stirling will be built in time for the 700th anniversary of the Battle and the next year of Homecoming in 2014. On offer will be an “immersive digital experience” designed to transport visitors back to the fourteenth century battle.
The great medieval clash of arms between the Scottish army of Robert the Bruce and the English force led by King Edward II took place on June 24 1314. The ensuing rout of the larger English army paved the way for Scottish independence and strengthened the position of Robert the Bruce as King of Scotland.
Today this important and popular Scottish heritage site is marked by a relatively modest visitor centre, statue and monument.
Minister for Culture Fiona Hyslop has promised to “bring a leading edge digital interpretation to the battle of Bannockburn,” when the new facilities open in 2014.
“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.”
The Minister also predicted the new centre would establish the site’s position as “one of the most historically and culturally important places in Scotland” during the Battle’s 700 year anniversary.
A design team of consultants is working with Historic Scotland and the National Trust to develop proposals for improving the visitor facilities including landscape and car parking improvements and conservation of the listed monuments and their setting.
The announcement comes on the back of the ambitious £12 million Stirling Castle Palace restoration project due for completion in Spring 2011.