BRECHIN Castle Centre has announced important changes for 2011.
With effect from April 1 admission to the country park will be free of charge.
Managing director Yvonne Ritchie said: “For some months we have been considering making changes to the business that reflect the new economic circumstances.
“We all have less money in our pockets than we did a couple of years ago but our customer feedback indicates that people still want to be able to go out for a meal or a snack on a regular basis and to have something to do or be entertained.
“Brechin Castle Centre is well placed to meet these expectations and we have therefore come up with new arrangements which should attract more customers to the business and offer an excellent experience in our shop, restaurant and country park.
“The country park is a much valued local facility and we expect that many people will enjoy it if there is no charge for admission.
“This does mean that we need to make savings and this will be achieved by closing down the modern farm which lies east of the country park.
“The play areas, including the courtyard and the 30 acres of ornamental lake and parkland, will remain open to visitors.
“Since Brechin Castle Centre opened in 1996 our livestock has formed an important part of the attraction.
“However, they are expensive and time consuming to keep and animal and human health concerns have made it increasingly difficult for people, children in particular, with our animals.
“Our remaining stock have now been dispersed to new homes.
“This change does mean than we can focus exclusively on the improvement and maintenance of the park as a high quality visitor attraction and we are considering who to develop a more regular programme of charged public events.
“In the restaurant we have reviewed our menus and, in particular, our home baking this spring and I am confident that our regulars will be very pleased with what is on offer.
“In the shop also we have been making some changes and, in particular, customers will surely find something to suit them in our new budget area in addition to our usual garden and plants offer, giftware and, in due course Christmas.
“We are really enthusiastic about these changes and believe that they will represent an excellent offer to our many regular and valued customers as well as attracting new business which will contribute to the vibrancy of the local area in these more difficult times”.