The site of one of Scotland’s greatest battles will celebrate its 700th anniversary with a new state-of-the-art visitor and interpretation centre as the Heritage Lottery Fund today announced its support for the multi-million pound Battle of Bannockburn project. The project, which is a joint venture between the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland, was awarded a first round pass* for a grant of £3,692,100 and development funding of £163,000.
The Battle of Bannockburn is one of the most significant battles fought on British soil. It took place on the 23-24 June 1314 between the armies of Robert the Bruce and Edward II and resulted in victory for Bruce against almost overwhelming odds. It was a defining event in Scottish history leading to the declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and the acknowledgement of Scotland’s independence in 1328.
A new innovative visitor centre will use state-of-the-art technology to give visitors a true sense of the battle, from the social history of the time to medieval war craft. The landscape will also be enhanced to re-establish important historic views, such as to Stirling Castle.
The New visitor centre for the Battle of Bannockburn was announced last October, and is expected to draw about 100 000 people a year to see an immersive digital experience designed to transport visitors back to the fourteenth century battle.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said, “I am delighted that the HLF has given its initial support for the ambitious vision we have for the new centre to mark the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. We announced the £5m of initial investment from the Scottish Government only last year and the project has come on leaps and bounds since then.
“I am thrilled that this funding will allow us to go even further in using cutting edge technology to immerse visitors in the experience of the battle while preserving the wider site as a place of commemoration and reflection.
“The new visitor centre will be a crucial part of a hugely important year that will also see Scotland host the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games and the second Year of Homecoming in 2014.”
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said, “To this day, the Battle of Bannockburn inspires artists, writers and political thinkers worldwide and is intrinsically linked to Scotland’s national identity. We are delighted to give our initial support to a project which will take the visitor experience to a new level, commensurate with the historical significance of this heritage site. Through this project, Bannockburn will be re-established as a significant tourist destination and valuable education resource.”
National Trust for Scotland Chief Executive Kate Mavor added, “This support will help make a visit to the battlefield a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable experience for families and amateur historians alike. It will help us bring to life the historical significance of Bannockburn and its relevance to us all today.”
Source: Heritage Lottery Fund