Backing for ambitious Forth bridges plans

Backing has been given to promote the three bridges as Scotland's new 'must visit' tourist attraction.
Backing has been given to promote the three bridges as Scotland's new 'must visit' tourist attraction.

The City of Edinburgh Council has endorsed the aims of ambitious plans to promote the Forth Bridges as Scotland’s new ‘must-visit’ tourist destination.

Produced by members of the Forth Bridges Forum, ‘The Three Bridges: Making a Journey a Destination’ is a tourism strategy designed to capitalise on the unique appeal of the three bridges, making them a magnet for visitors over the next decade.

Included within the plans are suggestions for a new visitor welcome hub and the use of augmented and virtual reality technologies to immerse visitors in the backstory of the iconic structures. The creation of vantage photo points, free Wi-Fi for the area and a strong year-round events calendar have also been proposed.

Key to the success of the strategy will be consideration of residents’ views, through continued consultation with community councils North and South of the Firth of Forth.

A report detailing the plans received support recently from Edinburgh’s Culture and Communities Committee on Tuesday.

Councillor Donald Wilson, convener, said: “Queensferry has been a popular destination for many years as people love to see the iconic Forth Bridges up close. This strategy looks to build on that popularity and the unique engineering heritage of these three bridges over three centuries. If successful, it could turn visitor interest into economic benefit, boosting local jobs and coastal tourism in the process.

“Obviously, a lot of consideration still needs to be given to the various ideas contained within the report, not least the response of residents and workers in North and South Queensferry and we’ll be working with our neighbours in Fife so the whole area benefits. But the Forum’s aspirations very much chime with our own, particularly as we embark on a new tourism strategy for Edinburgh that casts its eye beyond the City Centre. Plus, as we gather views to shape Edinburgh’s shared vision for the year 2050, now feels like the right time to look ahead and back the aims of the Forum’s plans.”

The Forth Bridges Forum ultimately hopes the strategy will lead to the Forth Bridges receiving WorldHost® Destination status, putting the area firmly on the global visitor destination map. View the report, ‘The Three Bridges: Making a Journey a Destination’, online here.