Tourism Chief Visits Livingstone Birthplace
VisitScotland’s Chief Executive was on site at the David Livingstone Birthplace Project to review its on-going restoration during a tour of the Lanarkshire area. Malcolm Roughead met with the Trust’s Chair Isabel Bruce to discuss the next steps for the historic landmark.
Plans to revamp the attraction are aimed at telling Livingstone’s powerful story to the next generation and strengthening the world-wide connections that the explorer has inspired. Malcolm visited the site during a tour of the wider Lanarkshire area which also saw him take in New Lanark World Heritage Site, meet with North Lanarkshire Council, visit Hamilton Racecourse and discuss the John Muir Way in Kilsyth.
At Blantyre Malcolm met with Isabel Bruce, Chair, and David Kirkwood, the Project Lead who manages the restoration. On a tour through the site Malcolm was able to see the progress of the restoration and was told how the museum will be transformed into a major visitor attraction that will attract local and international audience.
The museum is scheduled to open in 2020.
Isabel Bruce said:
“The major refurbishment of the David Livingstone Birthplace will see a renewal of the historic buildings at Shuttle Row and the Weavers Cottages to include a new exhibition telling David’s story in a contemporary way - how he successfully collaborated with the local people he met to achieve his great feats of exploration.
“Importantly there will be new education spaces for schools and family visits. And we will have a café, shop and landscaping across the grounds to make our customers feel welcome.
“We look forward to re-opening our doors in 2020 and hope the David Livingstone Birthplace will prove an exciting addition to the tourism offering and boost visits to the Lanarkshire area.”
Malcolm Roughead said:
“The David Livingstone Centre has been an iconic attraction for years and I was impressed to see investment and development taking place.
“It is important that we continue to encourage the tourism industry to create world class experiences, events and attractions. Meeting ever-changing visitor demands is essential as tourism is more than a holiday experience – it is the heartbeat of the Scottish economy and touches every community, generating income, jobs and social change.”