Work starts soon on a £2.5 million project to upgrade the visitor experience at the National Trust for Scotland’s flagship Culzean Castle and Country Park, the conservation charity has confirmed.
The Trust says the investment is the first phase of a plan to massively boost visitor numbers to the historic Ayrshire estate.
The project at Culzean Castle and Country Park, which has been identified as one of the Trust’s priority properties, will: Transform the welcome to Culzean with a redesigned arrival area that sets the tone for the rest of the visit to one of Scotland’s grandest heritage treasures; Expand its trail network, including introducing 2 new all-abilities trails, to encourage more visitors to explore more of the estate and enjoy more of the site’s fascinating stories and rich heritage; Introduce a transport system to improve access and help visitors experience more of what Culzean has to offer; Reinstate areas of the historic designed landscape, protecting the environment of the Grade A listed buildings and allowing Robert Adam’s original picturesque design to be better appreciated.
The project will also make improvements at Fountain Court, so that the site can host large-scale events and concerts once again, as well as upgrading and re-organising parking facilities around the estate.
In addition, a fantastic play area for visitors aged 9 and up is also being created. This tree-top experience will take inspiration from the estate’s rich natural heritage and encourage hi-level adventure and exploration.
Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, Simon Skinner said: “Nowhere can compare to Culzean Castle and Country Park – its location, the stunning castle and collection, abundant wildlife, woodland walks, glorious gardens and coastline all combine to create somewhere outstanding and irreplaceable. It is a place that simply has to be experienced.
“This is the first instalment in a series of developments that will put Culzean back in its rightful place as one of Scotland’s heritage superstars, attracting visitors from near and far, all eager to share the amazing experiences that can only be found on this Ayrshire cliff-top.”
The Trust is investing £17 million over the next few years at priority properties to improve facilities and the visitor experience at Culzean, Newhailes and Brodie Castle. More properties are set to be announced in the next few months.
Mr Skinner continues: “Putting money into our properties and attracting more visitors is a key focus for the Trust over the next few years. Not only is this essential to our long-term financial stability, but let’s not forget that the reason the Trust exists is to share Scotland’s heritage with as many people as we can. To do that, we need to be putting Trust places at the top of everyone’s bucket list.”