FORESTRY Commission Scotland is set to invest £4.5 million into boosting 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. And by upgrading a number of key visitor sites, it is hoped 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.
Rob Soutar, Forestry Commission’s district manager, said: “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 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.
The commission is to share its plans for the 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 today (Friday) and the public will be able to see plans tyhis afternoon from 2-6.30pm.
The new facilities are due to be completed in 2014. For information on the project, log on to http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gallowayforestpark.