South Scotland

Galloway Forest Park £4.5m visitor centre projects complete

Kirroughtree Centre
Image caption The Kirroughtree centre is compatible with the section of the park which has Dark Sky status

Three visitor centres are opening in the Galloway Forest Park as part of a £4.5m investment by Forestry Commission Scotland to improve facilities.

Upgrades are already complete at sites at Clatteringshaws and Glentrool.

A brand new complex at Kirroughtree will open its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said the investment showed a "significant commitment to help support and grow green tourism in the region".

The forest park covers more than 300 sq miles and attracts nearly one million visitors every year.

Mr Wheelhouse said the park, established in 1947, was "famed for its wilderness, rugged landscapes, nature and outdoor recreation".

The Kirroughtree complex is designed to be fully compatible with the section of the park which enjoys Dark Sky status.

Keith Muir, tourism manager at FCS's Galloway office, said: "The new centres are stylish, modern and are designed to be very user-friendly for the many visitors who are coming to Galloway Forest Park.

"The region has so much to offer in terms of green tourism and these new visitor centres are just what we need to create a more welcoming experience.

"The fact that we have local businesses working in partnership with the commission to run the centres is great news and good for the local economy."

Paula McDonald, regional director of VisitScotland, said the centres showed a "real commitment to growing tourism in Dumfries and Galloway".

"An investment into tourism is an investment into Scotland's future and these centres offer fantastic facilities for locals and visitors, taking the tourism product to a whole new level," she said.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites