Bannockburn ‘to draw fewer from US than Gathering’

The statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. Picture: Ian Rutherford
The statue of Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. Picture: Ian Rutherford
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A RE-ENACTMENT of the Battle of Bannockburn next year is unlikely to attract the same level of North American visitors as the Gathering event in 2009, according to a new report.

The event, one of the key elements of the 2014 Homecoming programme, will be on a much smaller scale than the Gathering, which brought around 17,000 clan members from across the Atlantic to Scotland, Holyrood’s Tourism Committee said.

The committee’s report said marketing of the three-day Bannockburn event near Stirling was therefore crucial, with the need to sell 75 per cent of tickets in order to break even.

The re-enactment of the famous battle was announced after Stirling Council revealed in October last year that it had cancelled the planned Gathering 2014 event, due to costs.

The Gathering 2009 resulted in £382,000 being owed to six public sector bodies and £344,000 owed to 103 private sector organisations.

The late change means that there may not be enough time to attract some of the major North American clan groups.

Committee convener Murdo Fraser said: “It is unfortunate that the necessary two-year lead-in time, required by North American clans to plan a visit to Scotland, has not been achieved, although there is the potential for increased numbers of UK and international visitors.”