The local authority resumed full ownership and management of the world-famous attraction on Friday (27 November) and will now press ahead with the decision made by the Council’s Finance and Economy earlier this month to grant free entry to every Stirling Council resident next year.
The offer is part of wider plans for the iconic landmark to ensure the success of the attraction during the challenging tourism recovery period and beyond.
Unlock the full potential of this magnificent attraction
Convener of the Finance and Economy Committee, Councillor Margaret Brisley, said: “The National Wallace Monument is a treasured local asset and this radical move shows the Council’s commitment to maximise access to our publicly owned tourism attractions for all local residents.
“Now that we have the keys back for the Monument, we are looking forward to working with local communities and other key stakeholders to unlock the full potential of this magnificent attraction and the wider tourism offering in the region.”
The Monument is owned by the Council, who has always been solely responsible for its maintenance.
For the past 25 years, it has been leased to Stirling District Tourism but in September Councillors ratified decisions taken earlier in the year to take over the management and operation of the international attraction.
The Council has exciting plans to place the iconic landmark at the centre of an ambitious tourism and cultural approach for Stirling and the wider area, which will see it, and other publicly owned assets, brought together to drive tourism growth across the region.
The right thing to do
Vice Convener, Alison Laurie said: “It’s fitting on St Andrew’s Day that we mark the return of the management of this iconic Scottish landmark to the people of Stirling and reaffirm a commitment to offer free entry to almost 95,000 people over the course of 2021.
“Over the past 150 years, Stirling Council and its predecessors have always stepped up safeguard the Monument for the nation and local people and the Council will continue to do so.
“The Council also has a duty to look out for its communities and, given the financial impact of the pandemic, we felt giving all residents free entry to the Monument was the right thing to do and we look forward to sharing the final details shortly.”
Part of the team
The Council’s ambitious plans will be supported by Monument staff, with all 19 employees who formed part of the transfer being taken on by the Council during a very challenging time for the tourism industry.
Cllr Brisley added: “We are also pleased to have secured continued employment for the Monument staff and we look forward to welcoming them as part of the team at the Council.”
Stirling Council Officers are currently working with a newly established National Wallace Monument stakeholder group, which includes representatives from key national and regional agencies, the local communities and from other local visitor attractions.
The group will help shape an offer that will allow free access for Stirling’s residents in a way that works for all stakeholders, and for the many visitors from outwith Stirling that the Council will be working hard to attract during the year ahead, in line with Government guidance and permitted activity. Full details of the offer and how residents can access it will be promoted shortly.
Picture shows the Keys to the National Wallace Monument with the world-famous attraction in the background.