Scotland’s garden tourism industry is set to bloom this summer.
A further as £37,000 funding has been awarded to national garden tourism group, Discover Scottish Gardens, to build on its success.
The group, which was launched in 2015 with Growth funding from VisitScotland, has been awarded the grant to help boost its member network of gardens and businesses from across the country, attracting national and international garden visitors to Scotland.
The £37,000 grant was awarded to Discover Scottish Gardens by the LEADER areas of Fife, Angus and Rural Perth and Kinross. This, combined with the group’s membership fees and corporate sponsorship, brings this year’s funds to £61,000.
The group intends to use the funds to appoint a new business development officer to support the expansion of its member network. The remaining funds will help the organisation source professional photography and support the design, print and distribution of its garden map of Scotland.
Catherine Erskine, chair of Discover Scottish Gardens, said: ‘The funding from Fife LEADER and what we have raised ourselves will enable us to give Scotland’s garden tourism industry a further boost. Discover Scottish Gardens has made great strides with garden tourism over the past four years, encouraging visitors to enjoy our country’s amazing gardens and nurseries.
‘By expanding our member network even further, we can showcase more of Scotland’s finest gardens and hidden gems to local and international tourists.’
Since its inception, Discover Scottish Gardens has attracted over 140 members, including gardens, nurseries and related businesses nationwide, working together to showcase the country’s outstanding horticulture. Member organisations include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Royal Horticultural Society and Forestry Commission Scotland. More significantly, many rural and independent gardens are also members.
Helen Rorrison, chair of Fife LEADER Local Action Group, said: ‘This is a great initiative for Fife, Perth and Kinross and Angus as well as the rest of Scotland, particularly rural Scotland, as there is so much on offer here. Collectively promoting our gardens, nurseries and local supporting businesses is a positive step towards a more recognised garden tourism offering in Scotland. LEADER is very pleased to support this project.’
LEADER is part of the 2014- 2020 Scottish Rural Development Programme (SRDP). It is a funding initiative supported by the Scottish Government and the European Union, which will deliver support of around £52m to economic and community development projects across Scotland.
For more information on Discover Scottish Gardens, visit www.discoverscottishgardens.org