Victorian Heritage Trail to expand

Crathie Church
Crathie Church

TOURISM in Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms could receive a major, long-term boost on the back of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Plans are afoot to expand the popular Victorian Heritage Trail to include several new focal points in a bid to attract more visitors to the area on June 2 as the Queen marks her 60th year on the throne.

The Trail, which runs from Fettercairn to Linn of Dee taking in some of the UK’s most historic and iconic buildings such as Balmoral Castle, is being developed with the aid of a £21,000 VisitScotland Growth Fund and a £10,500 matched funding grant from Scottish Enterprise.

It’s hoped the re-vamped Trail, which will appear on tourist brochures and on a specially designed mobile-ready website, will bolster the local economy.

Three new local jobs have been created to help with the redesign of the Trail and several other ventures the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) are working on as part of a three-year plan to increase tourism in the area.

The DMO – a partnership of 70 local business partners such as Banchory Lodge Hotel, Braemar Highland Safaris and the Butterworth Gallery – are looking for a dynamic business engagement manager, a social media and website manager and an administrative bookkeeper.

They hope the new appointments will help bring tourists flocking to the area.

“We’re really excited about the projects we are working on right now,” said Claire Bruce of the Royal Deeside and Cairngorms DMO. “We hope they can increase tourism and bring lasting rewards to the local economy long after the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

“The Diamond Jubilee will be an historic event and I hope many new and regular visitors will be enticed to follow the path of the newly designed Victorian Heritage Trail.

“But we want to get the message across to people that Royal Deeside and the Cairngorms is an area you can visit at any time of year.

Each visit brings its own unique experience and we hope that the people we employ in this new jobs share the same enthusiasm for tourism as we do.”