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Reiach and Hall unveils Bannockburn visitor centre plans

Reiach and Hall has revealed its designs for the new £5 million visitor centre at the site of the battle of Bannockburn

The project, which is backed heritage agency Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, is expected to open in time for the 700th anniversary of the battle in 2014 .

In addition to the £5million already awarded to the project by the Scottish Government, an application has been submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund for additional interpretation and landscaping works.

Reiach and Hall’s Neil Gillespie said: ‘Along with Landscape Architects, Ian White Associates, and Interpretation Designers, Brightwhite, we are extremely privileged to be working with The National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland at The Battle of Bannockburn, a defining moment in Scottish History and a wonderful site.

‘Although modest in scale our project attempts to give some gravitas back to the site, concentrating attention on the story of the battle, the rotunda, the statue of Bruce and the great prospect to the north of Stirling Castle and the Ochils.’’

The new visitor centre will bring ‘a cutting-edge digital interpretation to the battle of Bannockburn’ and aims to ‘establish the site’s position as one of the most historically and culturally important places in Scotland’.

Previous story (AJ 12.10.10)

Reiach and Hall wins Bannockburn visitor centre job

Reiach and Hall is to design the new £5 million visitor centre at the site of the battle of Bannockburn

The practice is understood to have won an open contest to land the prize earlier this and will work alongside engineers Sinclair Knight Merz and landscape architects Ian White Associates.

The new facility will include an ‘immersive digital experience designed to transport visitors back to the fourteenth century battle’ and will be built in time for the next year of Homecoming in 2014.

Backed by Historic Scotland and the National Trust for Scotland, the scheme aims to increase a visitor numbers by 30 per cent - taking it from 65,000 to 85,000 annually, with 100,000 expected in the first year.

This latest investment comes ahead of the completion of the ambitious £12 million Stirling Castle Palace restoration project expected in Spring 2011.

Kate Mavor, chief executive of the National Trust for Scotland said: ‘Bannockburn is one of Scotland’s most significant sites and we want to ensure that everyone understands this place’s part in the development of the nation. 

‘As the conservation charity charged with its care, we have a responsibility to ensure that the legacy of the events that occurred here lives on and is recognised by future generations.

‘We are very excited by the possibilities as we embark on this new and ambitious partnership project and look forward to working with Stirling Council, community representatives and others to ensure that Bannockburn and central Scotland’s many historic sites play their part in telling the story of Scotland.’

The main memorial currently on the site is an equestrian statue by Pilkington Jackson and FR Stevenson’s rotunda, both part of Robert Matthews (RMJM) 1960 masterplan for the site, which was completed for the 650 year anniversary. There is also a cairn and a flagpole.

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