Stirling 2014 plans taking shape
Building an exciting programme of events, getting the necessary physical and infrastructure in place, and identifying ways to connect with and involve people and businesses at home and across the world will be the focus of preparations for Stirling 2014, a meeting of Stirling Council agreed on Thursday 1 March.
2014 sees the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn in June, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July/August, and the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles in September, and has an added significance as Scotland’s second Year of Homecoming.
“2014 is a unique opportunity for the Stirling area,” said Economy, Tourism and Finance Portfolio Holder Councillor Scott Farmer. “Large numbers of visitors will be attracted to Scotland from right across the world, and it is our job, working with our partner organisations and with local businesses and residents, to make sure that we are in a collective position to welcome as many of these visitors as possible to Stirling. I am delighted that we now have the Council’s approval for an approach that will help launch and support a full programme of events, and, critically, ensure that 2014 leaves a positive and lasting economic legacy for our area.”
Councillors agreed a strategy of building upon well-established dates in Stirling’s cultural and events diary, such as various Highland Games and sporting fixtures, an enhanced New Year and Easter celebrations, a packed Bannockburn 700 weekend featuring re-enactments, the official opening of the National Trust for Scotland’s new Visitor Centre, a potential youth arts festival and schools event, and a Stirling food and drink festival in September. An angling festival is also under consideration.
“Just as important as presenting the right mixture of things to see and do is getting the right infrastructure in place, whether that be providing additional visitor accommodation, enhancing traffic management, or working on the look and feel of the city,” added Cllr Farmer. “We want our visitors to receive the best possible first impression of Stirling.”
“Above all, we want to make sure that our communities are at the centre of Stirling 2014. With careful planning and consultation we will shape the special events and activities to genuinely reflect our local heritage and traditions, putting local people as well as our visitors at the heart of this unique year.”
The Stirling 2014 Partners Group, with members from key national and local partners, is in place to take forward preparation and planning alongside the Council’s existing Member Officer Group. Councillors also agreed to the appointment of a dedicated project manager post to co-ordinate all planning and activities leading up to 2014.