Quality down to a fine art

Press release   •   Jul 18, 2016 10:38 BST

A new art gallery and shop in Dumfries & Galloway is the first of its kind in the region to scoop a top Quality Assurance award from the national tourism organisation.

The Gallery at Laurieston, near Castle Douglas, has been rated a 4 Star Tourism Shop by VisitScotland in recognition of the excellence of the visitor experience it offers and its emphasis on Scottish crafts, produce and products. The Gallery is the first dedicated art gallery in the region to achieve this status.

The accolade for the art gallery comes only one year after it opened its doors to the public last June. It moved to its spacious new premises in the former village inn in Laurieston after seven successful years in an adjacent smaller local venue.

The gallery is the brainchild of owner and fine art and landscape photographic artist Phil McMenemy and also aims to showcase the work of artists from across the region. The former children’s mental health nurse decided to pursue his passion for photography professionally ten years ago and won the Scottish Nature Photography Award in 2010.

Phil McMenemy, Owner of the The Gallery at Laurieston, said:

“We are delighted to receive the 4 star Tourist Shop award from VisitScotland which is even more special coming just a year since we opened our new premises. I enjoy sharing my vision and passion for Dumfries & Galloway through my work and I hope this award encourages more visitors to experience the region and explore its glories. Working in partnership with VisitScotland has been a real win for the business and I look forward to continuing to work together.”

Douglas Wilson, VisitScotland Regional Director said:

“Congratulations to The Gallery at Laurieston on receiving this well-deserved award. This award is a welcome boost to the business as well as the region as a whole. Having high quality local businesses which place an emphasis on promoting Scottish crafts and products further strengthens our tourism offering and increases the marketability of Dumfries & Galloway as a destination which offers a superb and exciting range of things to see and do.”

Developed and improved over the past 25 years, the QA scheme is a tourism industry world-leader, providing a trusted, independent and impartial source of information for visitors. Enabling businesses to not just meet visitor expectations but exceed them, it is delivered by a dedicated team of experts who offer valuable business advice and support. The scheme is not just about driving standards; it aims to help businesses reach their full potential so they can reap the benefits and secure their success. That in turn delivers benefits for the economy of their region and for Scotland’s tourism industry.

For more information on The Gallery at Laurieston, visit or

For more information about VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance Schemes, visit

- ENDS -

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland       to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international       opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One       Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP.
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • For holiday information on Scotland go to
  • For information about business events in Scotland go to

    Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016

  • 2016 will shine a spotlight on Scotland’s achievements in innovation, architecture and design through a wide-ranging, variety of new and existing activity.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design begins on 1 January 2016 and ends on 31 December 2016 and will build on the momentum generated by the 2015 Year of Food and Drink as well as previous years including Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • Through a series of exciting events and activity, the year will showcase Scotland’s position as an “innovation nation”, its outstanding built heritage, and its thriving, internationally acclaimed creative industries sector.
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS).
  • The Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • Join the conversation at #IAD2016
  • Events can join the 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design Partner Programme throughout the year by visiting