Road users entering Carrick recently will have noticed “Welcome to Carrick , Ayrshire’ signs appearing at the entry points to the region.
The nine road signs have been installed by the Carrick Community Council’s Forum who worked in partnership with South Ayrshire Council.
Peter Mason, Chair of the Forum said: “We have been working to raise the profile of this part of Ayrshire for quite some time and this latest project was made possible by local funding and by partnership working with South Ayrshire Council.
“The Forum is pleased that its partnership with the Council has produced these signs which make a bold statement in welcoming visitors to our area.
“I would also like to thank the staff at Ailsa Horizons, the local development agency, who helped us to source funding and make this project happen.
“Without the support of Ailsa Horizons and the hard work of all of the forum members and local councillors, the forum would not be able to deliver such projects and benefits to the area”.
Funding for the project came from the council’s rural panel and Carrick Future Community Benefit Fund.
At the launch on Monday 14th July, Councillor Bill Grant, the council’s portfolio holder for tourism said that he was delighted that the project had had such an impact already.
And forum member Mhairi McKenna commented that many local people had already on a sense of pride about the signs marking the entrance to Carrick.
Stuart Lindsay of Ailsa Horizons commented: “It took us longer than expected to get these road signs installed and it is really good to see them in place.
“This project is the latest in a long line of small – and not so small – initiatives that the Forum has carried out to promote tourism.
“The biggest of these was the recently completed 2-year tourism development project which created a brand for Carrick, developed the carrickayrshire.com website, and created new tourism products such as the Carrick Heritage Trail.
“It is difficult to measure the effect that the Forum’s work has had on visitor numbers.
“But it’s worth noting how Carrick’s profile on the internet has changed.
“A few years back if you searched for “Carrick” on Google you would have to trawl through 10 or more pages of references to the famous footballer and to Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland before you found any mention of Carrick, Ayrshire.
“Today, a search for Carrick on Google brings up a reference to our part of Scotland on the first page of search results.”
And local councillors that were in attendance at the launch agreed that the road signs is further proof that Carrick is now on the map and visible to visitors as they arrive in the area.
Working in liaison with tourism agencies and Ayrshire and Arran tourism leaders, the Forum has also created a portfolio of ‘people-based’ photographs for promotions online and in print.
Forum chair Peter Mason concluded: “The new signs will help to raise Carrick’s profile even more and we will continue to work with tourism businesses across Carrick to develop the tourism product and further promote the area.”