Bannockburn visitor centre awarded nearly £4m in funding

A VISITOR centre being built to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the battle of Bannockburn has been awarded funding of almost £4 million.

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) announced the grant of £3,940,300 for the Battle of Bannockburn project, which is to be built by 2014.

The Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 is one of the most significant in Scottish history, with Robert the Bruce defeating the forces of English King Edward II.

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Historic Scotland, which is providing a £5 million grant to fund the development, will work with the National Trust for Scotland to deliver the project.

It is hoped that the new centre could increase visitor numbers to the famous site from an annual total of 65,000 to 85,000, with an estimated 100,000 expected in the first year it is open.

As well as modern technology being used to give visitors a true sense of the battle, key battlefield monuments will also repaired.

Jenny Abramsky, chair of the HLF, added: “This is a ground-breaking project for Scotland and for the heritage sector.

“With this new facility, Bannockburn will be able to inspire visitors of all ages with an experience that reflects the cultural significance of this battle site. Even young people whose daily lives are filled with technology, from phones to games consoles, will be astounded by the interpretation as they enjoy learning about our past.

“I am delighted that it is our heritage which is providing an international showcase for the cutting-edge technology being developed here while also giving us a visitor centre which will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s culture, society and economy.”

Kate Mavor, National Trust for Scotland chief executive, said: “The Trust is honoured to care for a site of such significance to Scotland and beyond. We are creating a stimulating experience that does this historic place justice and tells the complex story of this crucial battle as accurately as possible.”

HLF also announced initial support for a grant of £4,838,700 to refurbish Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall, former home to the Museum of Transport and the indoor International Sports Arena.

The project would see the space store the Hunterian and Glasgow City collections. Around 400,000 objects, currently in various locations around the city, would be moved to the new facility.

The Kelvin Hall would continue to house local sporting facilities to encourage new audiences to the museum collections.

The funding awarded is a first-round pass, meaning that the project now has up to two years to submit fully developed proposals.