Visitor centre future

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THE future of Brechin’s VisitScotland centre could be secured until 2014 if a funding package is approved (writes Sarah McLean).

Angus Council has proposed funding of £39,000 to cover both the Brechin and Arbroath centres. When taking into account opening hours and numbers of staff Arbroath are set to receive £28,500 and Brechin will get the remaining £10,5000.

This funding will go towards helping meet the £54,000 which goes towards marketing and running the centres each year.

In a report, Eric Lowson, director of Infrastructure Services, outlines the importance of the centres to the local economy. He said: “The main purpose of Visitor Information Centres is to assist visitors in finding their way around the area and providing them with information about attractions once they arrive.

“Most visitors have already booked their accommodation beforehand. Nonetheless, accommodation bookings totalled 119, which generated additional visitor expenditure in Brechin totalling £40, 429.”

Angus Council also contributes £15,000 each year towards marketing. In the last period this included the ‘Surprise Yourself’ spring campaign which focused on outdoor activities specifically Angus Glens Walking.

This drive included a number of online promotions all of which encouraged consumers to enter various competitions through www.angusahead.com

Overall the campaign generated 7,200 page views and 4,677 competition entries.

Mr Lowson continued: “It is proposed that VisitScotland continue to operate the visitor information centres in Arbroath Harbour Visitor Centre and within Pictavia, Brechin as part of a year round provision of services to visitors and residents of Angus.

“The proposed agreement is based on a funding contribution from the council of £39,000 per annum towards the running cost of both centres for 2012/14.

“It is clear that without this contribution, VisitScotland would consider closure which would have serious implications for both locations.”