A community afternoon highlighting the village of Doune, giving locals and visitors the chance to explore its various attractions, get involved with community projects and learn about future plans for the popular visitor destination is to take place later this month.
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) along with partners Stirling Council; Artlink Central Scene Stirling; Kilmadock Community Council and Kilmadock Development Trust, has organised the special event for Saturday 23 April as part of ongoing plans to enhance the village as a visitor destination following an upturn in tourism in the wake of Doune Castle featuring in global TV smash Outlander and ongoing community investment via the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund (RTIF) and many ongoing initiatives by community groups.
Those attending the community afternoon, which will run from 1pm to 4pm on the day, will be able to find out more about the plans to develop current tourism and community heritage projects around the castle and village, with a drop in event and exhibition at the village’s Rural Hall, where HES staff and community representatives will be available to discuss and explain forthcoming developments.
Visitors on the day can also take part in a series of free local workshops around the village inspired by the theme of local landscape. The community event also boasts a local treasure trail highlighting the village’s hidden gems devised by local storyteller Amanda Edmiston; as well as a street photography walk coordinated by the creative team at Stirling Photography festival, reflecting on the history of Doune and seeking to record a contemporary picture of the village as it is today. Visitors on the day can also take part in a series of free workshops around the village inspired by the theme of local landscape. The community event also boasts a local treasure trail highlighting the village’s hidden gems devised by local storyteller Amanda Edmiston; as well as a street photography walk coordinated by the creative team at Stirling Photography festival, reflecting on the history of Doune and seeking to record a contemporary picture of the village as it is today.
The afternoon also boasts a Power of Volunteering event to shine a spotlight on the key role volunteers have played in running the local Heritage and Information centre for over 20 years, to the benefit of the community and visitors alike, Information will also be available on how anyone interested can get involved.
Commenting on the community event, Gary Treacy, Project Architect from HES said:
“Given its rich natural and historic assets, it’s hugely important that Doune Castle and the nearby village and other local heritage sites are properly developed in a sustainable fashion so they can be enjoyed now and in years to come by locals and visitors alike.
Working with our supporting partners to deliver this community day provides a wonderful opportunity to update locals and visitors on future plans for the village, in a fun and engaging way which celebrates Doune and all it has to offer.”
Karen Ross, Convenor, Kilmadock Development Trust said:
"The KDT has been working positively with HES to deliver a range of projects for the village. The new waymarkers, the new Bridge over the Ardoch, Interpretation Boards and the travel hub site development at the Green Shed. We look forward to see the plans for the new development at the castle in the old farm and mill buildings which will take the conversation to a new level."
Stuart Oliver, Stirling Council Senior Manager for Economic Development and Communities, said:
“Doune is a historic, vibrant village that boasts a diverse range of attractions, including the magnificent Doune Castle, set within stunning countryside that is a perfect natural playground for outdoor pursuits.
“In recent years, Stirling Council has made excellent progress with HES and the local community in securing funding to invest in the local tourism infrastructure. We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic community event that will showcase how Doune’s outstanding tourism offering can be enhanced whilst meeting the needs and aspirations of local people.
“As we recover from the pandemic and welcome tourists back to Stirling, we are committed to engaging with local communities and businesses to ensure the sustainable, inclusive growth of our tourism economy and to strengthen the area’s status as a must-visit destination.”
As part of a long-term investment strategy in the village, HES (which manages Doune Castle) and local partners recently opened a new pedestrian bridge – funded by the RTIF - linking the iconic castle and the wider village with other nearby heritage sites, in ongoing moves to improve the wider visitor experience by linking heritage and natural assets.
As well as the new bridge, new toilets and an improved park network have recently been added and future plans for the site and wider village include an enhanced transport hub featuring extra and accessible parking spaces.
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