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Star Quality for Stranraer coastal park

Press Release   •   Oct 07, 2016 15:07 BST

Dumfries & Galloway Councillor Colin Smyth with VisitScotland Regional Director Doug Wilson

A COASTAL park which recently underwent a major upgrade has been rewarded by VisitScotland.

Agnew Park in Stranraer received a Three Star Quality Assurance (QA) Award following a recent assessment visit by a Quality Tourism Advisor, in recognition of the very good quality of tourist attraction on offer.

The park re-opened in July following renovation work to improve the facilities to Agnew Park, which now include a boating lake, miniature railway, play island as well as a putting green and go cart track.

The park also benefits from new toilet facilities, new footpaths and cafe as well as gardens and pathways linking to Stranraer marina, Stranraer waterfront and the town centre.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Chairman of Dumfries & Galloway Council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee said: It is great to see Agnew Park being recognised by Visit Scotland, and our thanks to them for this recognition in the form of the 3 Star award. It's a ringing endorsement of the investment made by the council and our partners in the redevelopment of the Park.

“Our Council is committed to investing in project that build the local economy. The rejuvenated park and café will bring in many visitors as well as locals to the park all year round. The play equipment is state of the art and any children who’ve had a go on the equipment certainly have a smile on their face. The café offers a chance to get a spot of lunch before or after a walk in the park or a shot on the swings or zip line. The café looks superb inside and out and I would encourage anyone to pay a visit to Agnew Park the next time they’re in or around Stranraer.”

Doug Wilson, VisitScotland Regional Director, said: “This three star award for Agnew Park is a welcome boost to the local area, as well as the region as a whole. The park has been transformed following its recent upgrade and will help to attract visitors to Stranraer.

“Having visitor attractions like this which place an emphasis on good quality strengthens our tourism offering and increases our 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 four decades, 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 VisitScotland Quality Assurance scheme, visit

For more information on Agnew Park, visit

Notes to Editors

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  • 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.
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      2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design

  • 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 started on 1 January 2016 and will end on 31 December 2016.It 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.
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