It has been a good start to the year for tourism in Midlothian, writes Ian Gardner (Midlothian Tourism Forum).
Figures published a couple of weeks ago showed that the number of people working in tourism locally increased by 12 per cent equating to 1,900 jobs. And, to build on this, Midlothian will benefit from a new partnership with tourism businesses in the Scottish Borders, with funding of £350,000 from Scottish Enterprise and the Borders Railway Blueprint Guide over the next two years, to improve skills, products and services offered by tourism businesses.
In a further bid to boost the industry, Midlothian Tourism Forum and Midlothian Council are working together to organise the first ‘Midlothian Heritage Week’ to celebrate the area's rich heritage.
This year has been designated by the Scottish Government as the ‘Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology’ and Midlothian Heritage Week, running from May 1 to 7, will form part of the area's contribution to the year. We hope that the week will provide an incentive to bring more visitors into the area and, importantly, encourage local residents to explore what’s on their doorstep.
It’s a chance for anyone involved with our local heritage to organise an event, talk or tour and we hope that community groups, churches and historical societies will want to be involved in addition to some of our well-established historic attractions in the area such as Arniston House, the National Mining Museum and Rosslyn Chapel. We are delighted that Midlothian Heritage Week will be in partnership with the Midlothian Advertiser and there will be more chances to find out what's taking place in the run-up – so keep reading the Advertiser!
If you would like to get involved with Midlothian Heritage Week, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. All event details should be supplied by noon on Monday, March 7 in order to be included within the official programme. Whether it is exploring a castle or country house, discovering a graveyard and researching a family tree, or taking a fresh look at the heritage in our towns and villages, let’s make 2017 an historic year for tourism in Midlothian!