Wednesday, April 26 2017
Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, the independent conservation and heritage charity for the National Park area, have awarded a £1,000 grant to provide signing for the award-winning BLiSS Art Trail. The trail links a series of impressive art installations between the villages of Balquhidder, Lochearnhead, Strathyre and St Fillans (BLiSS - with the “i” standing for tourist information and innovation).
The Loch Earn Tourism Information group (LETI), who successfully launched the trail last year to wide acclaim, is seeking to install signage in order to recognise artists who have contributed to the exhibits on the BLiSS trail. Twenty-four artworks will be highlighted as part of the signing scheme and a promotional drive led by LETI to provide a further boost to the local tourist industry.
The trail has already won a prestigious Thistle award for its ‘Working together for Tourism’ project that involved businesses across a geographically dispersed area collaborating to deliver an appealing tourist trail that successfully combines art features and stunning landscapes.
The grant for the latest phase of works has come from the Friends of OUR park visitor-giving scheme and will cover the cost of purchasing and installing robust signs to ensure appropriate interpretation is situated alongside each artwork.
The Friends of OUR park visitor giving project has raised tens of thousands of pounds for projects all over Scotland’s first National Park in recent years and is supported by 100 local tourism businesses.
James Fraser, Chairman of Friends of Loch Lomond and The Trossachs, said: “The BLiSS trail has already been very well recognised with its award, but to the credit of Loch Earn Tourism Information, they want to build on this success with further improvements to ensure visitors get more out of their visit to what is a very special scenic area in the National Park. We are very pleased to support this great local initiative which is going from strength to strength.’’
Kim Proven, Chair of Loch Earn Tourism Information, said: “It is vital for us to have funding available in order to take on projects like this and we are extremely grateful to the Friends for their support. We are delighted that the BLiSS trail has already been recognised with a regional Scottish Thistle Award but we must keep working to ensure it remains an iconic attraction in this beautiful part of Scotland. Work on the evolving trail – including two new installations planned for 2017 – will continue to promote the area in a positive manner and boost the local economy.”
Tom Lewis, owner of Monachyle Mhor hotel in Balquhidder Glen, has been one of the major supporters of the Friends of OUR park visitor giving scheme and his guests have contributed over £3,000 to local projects from donations collected at the hotel through a mechanism on their bills.
He added: “It is a pleasure to see our guests’ generosity contributing to worthwhile and practical projects like this. We are delighted to support this sort of scheme and we applaud Loch Earn Tourism Information for their efforts in creating a popular and quirky tourist trail. I would encourage other local businesses to join the Friends of OUR park scheme and to get in touch with the Friends – you can see just what a difference your support makes.”