The team working on a bid for £1.8 billion of investment across Tayside has been given the lowdown on Perth and Kinross Council’s latest plans for a visitor boom.
Tay Cities Deal leaders were in the Fair City to hear how a series of large-scale projects could lead to a step-change in the region’s tourism performance.
The £20 million overhaul of Perth City Hall is part of a wider plan to boost the number of visitors and encourage more people to spend more time in the area.
The local authority believes its efforts to lure visitors will complement the new V&A in Dundee and help establish “Scotland’s Tay Country” as a destination for UK and overseas visitors.
Growing tourism across the neighbouring authority areas will help create jobs by lengthening the visitor season, leaders were told.
Murray Lyle, leader of Perth and Kinross Council, said: “Together with our partners in Fife, Dundee and Angus, we want visitors to our art, design and performance venues to have a memorable time, enjoying both unique buildings and extraordinary cultural experiences to ensure they visit again and encourage others to visit.
“This fulfils our aim of making cultural tourism a central component of the Tay Cities Deal.”
Angus Council leader Bob Myles added: “Tourism and leisure play a vital role in the economy and vitality of communities throughout the Tay Cities Region.
“There is little doubt that tourism brings a great deal to Angus and the wider area, as we will see this summer when Carnoustie hosts the 147th Open Championship and welcomes in a global audience.”
He said: “Visits such as today’s highlight to me just how we all have much to offer in respect of high quality and distinct visitor experience – an offering that will be greatly enhanced by working closely together to ensure the Tay Cities Deal can realise our full potential.”
Fife’s tourism partnership manager Ann Camus said the regions were working together on a “collaborative approach to tourism promotion across the Tay area”.
She said: “This will link the new tourism assets being supported through the Tay Cities Deal, with exciting infrastructure projects like the Tay Adventure project, connecting all four areas via a water taxi service and bringing the Firth of Tay to life with additional vessels in the summer months.”
Lynn Short, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, added: “The cultural sector plays a vital role in any community. Not just by providing jobs and attracting income through visitors, but as a way of reflecting and presenting the way an area sees itself.”
If successful, the “once in a lifetime” Tay Cities Deal could provide crucial government funding for a range of local projects including the Cross Tay Link Road, much improved bus and railway stations.