On track for Bruce Trail

PLANS to recognise the King from Carrick with a Bruce Trail in South Ayrshire have been advanced a step further with the appointment of a consultant.

Sarah Crome, of Dumbartonshire-based company SS Associates, has been selected to head up the county’s Bruce Trail, which organisers say will be in place by the end of next year.

With funding secured for the project from South Ayrshire Council’s Community Development Fund, Hadyard Hill Community Benefit Fund and Carrick Futures in late September, the process of inviting tenders quickly got under way, with bids already being assessed at the beginning of this month.

Ailsa Horizons manager Stuart Lindsay helped select Sarah Crome for the post, and said he had no doubts she was the best individual for the job.

“Sarah clearly has a broad knowledge about Robert the Bruce and a passion for his story,” he said.

“A key factor is that she was involved in the trail in Dumfries and Galloway and we are keen to link our trail into the southwest and to explore the potential to link into the rest of Ayrshire.”

Sarah herself said she was thrilled to be appointed, and had hoped the Bruce Trail would extend following the Dumfries and Galloway trail’s success.

“Carrick is the cradle of where it all began and I am delighted to be involved in the project,” she said.

“You think of places like Turnberry and there is absolutely nothing on the ground to indicate that this is the birthplace of Robert the Bruce.

“Carrick is right at the heart of the story so it’s really important – almost more important than Bannockburn!”

Sarah has already been out to visit a few sites connected with Robert the Bruce, and the next step is to arrange public consultations on the plans in the new year.

Peter Mason, Association of South Ayrshire Community Councils chairman, described the Bruce Trail project as both exciting and innovative.

“It is one of the better programmes to have come into South Ayrshire,” he said. “If the Scottish Government is going to spend money in 2014 for the Year of Homecoming Scotland, where Bruce was born should be celebrated.”