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We are working hard to help develop Fife’s cultural tourism; the economic benefits to the area are clear. Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries had welcomed nearly 170,000 visitors until March 2018. During this year preparation was underway to apply for Visit Scotland’s prestigious 5 star attraction status. As a key player on Dunfermline Heritage Partnership we helped fundraise nearly £800,000 of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Government to develop the tourism product for Dunfermline and mid-Fife; much of the activity we are delivering as well as helping to raise funds. We’ve made significant investment in attracting tourists into Fife towns and our venues with widespread AA road signs on the major roads in Fife – all of which are trailing major exhibitions in our galleries and museums.
On 18 May 2017, the stunning and multi-award winning Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries (DCL&G) opened to the public following more than ten years of development. This major cultural hub offers interactive museum and gallery spaces and is fully integrated with the world’s first Carnegie Library. An official opening by the Provost of Fife Jim Leishman MBE followed on 6 September 2017 and we were delighted to welcome back a number of our ‘Wall of Fame’ celebrities from legendary rock band Nazareth to Barbara Dickson. There was superb media coverage including STV, The Times, The Scotsman, and local press. By the end of March 2018 we had welcomed almost 170,000 visitors.
2017-18 saw a strong exhibitions programme which featured inspiring partnerships with local communities, arts bodies and educational organisations. Particular highlights include the opening exhibition at Dunfermline Carnegie Library & Galleries which was aptly named “We Made It!” The display presented the many projects – from archaeology to capturing stories for our oral history archive – that went in to the making of the new Dunfermline Museum. It also celebrated the huge contribution made by the 400+ volunteers who helped us realise the DCL&G dream. Take a virtual tour for yourself here.
After winning numerous accolades, including Edinburgh Architectural Association’s Building of the Year and Large Project of the Year awards in April 2017, then scooping the prestigious RIAS Andrew Doolan Award for Building of the Year, DCL&G is now established as a high profile gateway tourist attraction in the heart of Dunfermline’s Heritage Quarter. As a key partner in the Dunfermline Heritage Tourism Partnership and through the catalyst of DCL&G, the Trust has played a significant role in securing external funding for developing the town and area’s tourism further over the next three years. We are at the forefront of expanding volunteering in the quarter with tourism partners through our Volunteering Development Officer.