Tourism businesses across Angus and Dundee are being encouraged to turn the “eyes of the world” on the area by harnessing the potential surrounding this year’s 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.
VisitScotland and the Angus Tourism Cooperative have set up a networking event next month which they hope will bring businesses to historic Hospitalfield House to learn about the six-month-programme of events marking the anniversary and its “fantastic” opportunities.
The national tourism agency and Arbroath 2020 group will deliver an overview of the programme which will run from April to September and include a horse-led procession from Arbroath Abbey to the harbour and an atmospheric re-enactment of the Declaration sailing to France in 1320.
A newly-commissioned choral work by Paul Mealor and poet Graham Davies will be performed by more than 300 voices drawn from many Angus choirs, in the grounds of the Abbey.
VisitScotland regional leadership director Caroline Warburton said: “More widely, we hope to help turn the nation’s and the world’s eyes towards Arbroath when this exciting programme of events shines a spotlight on the town and wider region.
“This has already kicked off with the unveiling of the Arbroath Guildry’s new bronze bas relief telling the story of the town and its people, and the trailblazing GRIT Orchestra’s first performance of newly-composed works inspired by the Declaration at the opening night of the world-famous Celtic Connections.
“Tourism is at the heart of the Scottish economy, touching every community, generating income, jobs and social change.
“Across Angus it generates £240 million for the local economy and Arbroath 2020 provides an opportunity to further grow that figure by showcasing the unique experiences the region has to offer visitors.
“We’d encourage tourism businesses of all sizes from across Angus and Dundee to come along and hear how they can benefit from the events, play their part in history and network with their peers.”
The Hospitalfield event takes starts at 6pm on February 5.
Meanwhile, Historic Environment Scotland are hopeful of finding a new home for a large model of Arbroath Abbey which is now surplus to requirements.
The illuminated model has been viewed by millions of tourists at the ancient attractions in its glass display case within the Abbey visitor centre.
HES said they are in talks with schools and the local community in the hope of finding a new location for it to go on display.