Tam's Tall Tales

- National Trust for Scotland Faces Budget Challenge

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire

National Trust for Scotland Faces Budget Challenge
The National Trust for Scotland has announced budget cuts and possible job losses as it struggles to balance its books whilst maintaining its properties to a high standard.

Simon Skinner, chief executive, has staked his job on a radical reorganisation.

Resources would be concentrated in a handful of its 129 properties.

Culzean Castle in Ayrshire will be among eight to be developed further for the tourist market, the remaining 120 or so loss-making properties will be maintained as they are now.

Culzean’s visitor numbers peaked at about 200,000 six years ago, but the number of tickets sold has fallen to 150,000. Although very popular, it suffers from being in South Ayrshire and some distance from the main population centres such as Glasgow and Edinburgh in the central Lowlands of Scotland

“It runs at a loss and the cost of running that operation is significant,” said Mr Skinner. However, he added that it was important to engage with the public. "It might be possible", he said, "to develop a boutique hotel in the castle’s west wing, revamp an existing children’s playpark, add a treewalk, and enhance a cave system under the buildings into an appealing visitor attraction."

As a frequent visitor to Culzean, Scottie has written on many occasions about his visits there - see Scottie's Diary - Culzean Castle and Country Park in particular which includes links to a number of vide slide shows on various aspects of Culzean.

Please give me whatever feedback comes to mind via tamfromrampant@gmail.com.

Tam O'Ranter
January 2016

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