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Biggar and better!

Press Release   •   Feb 12, 2016 10:11 GMT

Lanarkshire’s latest visitor attraction - and one of Scotland’s newest museums - has scooped a top Quality Assurance award from the national tourism organisation.

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum has been rated a 5 Star Museum by VisitScotland in recognition of the excellence of the visitor experience it offers.

The accolade for the Museum - which only opened its doors to the public last summer, with its official opening by The Princess Royal in October- means that Lanarkshire now has two 5 Star Museums.The other is Hamilton’s popular Low Parks Museum.

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum won VisitScotland’s coveted top Quality Assurance award – which provides visitors with an assurance that all aspects of an attraction are of an exceptional standard - following an assessment visit by a member of the tourism body’s Quality and Tourism team.

During the incognito visit, the Quality and Tourism Advisor was able to experience and evaluate areas ranging from the information provided on the exhibits, the presentation and cleanliness of the museum interior and exterior, the merchandise sold in its shop, the hospitality and friendliness of staff and the standard of signage and car parking.

The scores achieved secured the attraction an ‘exceptional category’ grading, with the assessment summary praising the attraction as ‘a super new museum, which has been finished to a very high standard with engaging interpretation and artefacts within, situated in the heart of Biggar’.

Jennifer Court, Museum Manager of Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum, said:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded VisitScotland’s top standards rating in recognition of the quality of the visitor experience we’re providing. This is an accolade which we had set our sights on winning and it’s a real testimony to the commitment and hard work of The Biggar Museum Trust and all of the team here to achieve and maintain the very highest standards.

“We’re especially delighted to have managed to win this award so soon after our official opening by Princess Anne.Our 5 Star grading will be a great marketing tool to help us raise our profile as a first-class attraction and encourage more visitors to come to Biggar and our museum.”

Run by the Biggar Museum Trust, which collects and preserves examples of the rich heritage of the area, Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum brings together a collection built up over more than 40 years in a new, purpose-built museum which displays it to its best advantage and highlights its importance.The collection – ranging from archaeological artefacts to objects related to social history – explores 14,000 years of rural and small town life in Upper Clydesdale.With its focus on the people who have lived and worked in the area from prehistoric times up to the mid-20th century, the exhibits illustrate aspects of their ordinary and extraordinary lives.

In addition to its main galleries, Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum houses an archive room, a temporary exhibition area and a museum shop.

Annique Armstrong, VisitScotland Regional Director, said:

“My congratulations go to everyone at Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum on this fantastic and very well-deserved award. This is a great new attraction and much of the collection here demonstrates and reflects Scottish creativity and resourcefulness – a key focus of this Year of Innovation, Architecture & Design 2016.

“The 5 Star grading is excellent news, not only for the museum and for the town of Biggar but also for Lanarkshire. Having another first-class visitor attraction further strengthens the region’s tourism offering and increases its marketability as a destination which offers a superb, diverse range of things to see and do.

Our Quality Assurance scheme is not just about driving standards, it’s about helping businesses reach their full potential so they can reap the benefits and secure their success. That in turn delivers great results for tourism and the region’s economy.”

Developed and improved over the past 25 years, VisitScotland’s Quality Assurance (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, the QA scheme is delivered by a dedicated team of experts who offer valuable business advice and support. 

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum has followed its 5 Star quality standards award with another prestigious achievement.At The Arts and Business Awards Scotland on 3rd February, it was named the joint winner of the Enterprising Museum Award sponsored by Museums Galleries Scotland.

The award - won jointly by Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum and the Scottish Maritime Museum - celebrates a museum which has shown outstanding commercial innovation.

Joanne Orr, Chief Executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, said:

“Congratulations to Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum and the Scottish Maritime Museum. Their projects really exemplify the innovative and entrepreneurial work by museums across Scotland and I am delighted that their achievements are being highlighted and celebrated through the Enterprising Museum Award.”

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum is in the centre of the historic market town of Biggar, which is around half an hour’s drive from Edinburgh and an hour from Glasgow.Some of the town’s other attractions include a world-famous Victorian Puppet Theatre, Biggar Gasworks Museum - Scotland’s only preserved gasworks - and Albion Museum, which displays manufacturer Albion Motors commercial vehicles dating back to the late 19th century.

For more information on Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum visit:


For further information contact:

Ellen Drummond Ferroni

VisitScotland Corporate Press Officer

T: 0141 566 4019; M: 07801 820757;


Please note, I do not work on Fridays - when queries should be directed to Corporate Press Manager Kate Turnbull on 0131 472 2324 or

Out of hours enquiries all week: 07699 766986

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    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.
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