Battle of Bannockburn tickets to cost over £80

A woman walks her dog past a statue of Robert the Bruce at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn. Picture: PAA woman walks her dog past a statue of Robert the Bruce at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn. Picture: PA
A woman walks her dog past a statue of Robert the Bruce at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn. Picture: PA
TICKETS for next year’s Battle of Bannockburn celebrations will cost up to £82.50 - despite the cost to the public purse soaring to nearly £400,000.

The 700th anniversary of the iconic battle will be marked by huge battle re-enactments, live music, a clan village, food and drink stalls, and storytelling sessions.

A £9 million new visitor centre will also be open at the battlefield site by next summer, deploying the latest technology to bring key moments in the battle to life.

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The “Bannockburn Live” event - due to run from 28-30 June - is expected to be centrepiece event for the second Year of Homecoming in 2014, which has been timed to coincide with the battle anniversary, as well as the staging of both the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in Scotland next year.

However it will cost £75-a-head - plus a £7.50 booking fee - to guarantee entry to the new facilities during three days of celebrations, as well as secure a prime seat for the battle re-enactments.

The cheapest adult tickets to the event, which will have a capacity of around 15,000 per day, do not include access to the new visitor centre.

The “King’s Ticket” package includes a souvenir goodie bag and afternoon tea at the site.

The ticket prices have emerged as the National Trust for Scotland as it was revealed that public funding for the event is now up to almost £400,000 - a rise of £150,000 in the space of three months.

VisitScotland’s contribution will be £200,000 while the Scottish Government is providing a further £142,000, while Creative has awarded the event £50,000.

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A spokeswoman for the National Trust for Scotland, which runs the battlefield site, said: “There will be 300 of the exclusive ‘King’s Ticket’ packages available each day.

“We have designed a bespoke package for these special guests which will ensure a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

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Edinburgh-based firm Unique Events have been hired to stage the celebrations on behalf of NTS after the financial collapse of a private firm which ran a huge clan gathering in Edinburgh during the first Homecoming celebrations in 2009.

Earlier this year it emerged that plans for the Bannockburn celebrations had been thrown into doubt amid fears over who would be taking the financial risk if ticket sales do not match expectations.

Clan societies have also been angered at the cancellation of a major gathering in Stirling next year, which was intended to be held on a separate date from the Bannockburn anniversary.

David McAllister, director of the Battle of Bannockburn Project for NTS, said: “The 700th anniversary of the battle is a significant milestone and deserves to be marked with a major event.

“Bannockburn Live will breathe life into the past like never before, providing visitors with a unique chance to experience medieval Scotland, to commemorate this historic event and to celebrate contemporary Scotland too.

“Working with Unique Events and our event partners, we are determined to ensure that Bannockburn Live is a fitting addition to the Homecoming programme for 2014, when Scotland welcomes the world.”

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Pete Irvine, managing director of Unique Events, said: “We’re looking forward to working with the National Trust for Scotland and welcome the opportunity to create an event that puts history at the heart of a contemporary festival experience.

“This will be the first time in the UK that this rich mix of heritage and culture will be presented in one arena.”