Milngavie must tap into West Highland Way potential

Members of the local business community stand to gain from more visitors being attracted to Milngavie

Milngavie is losing out because the potential of the West Highland Way to attract tourists to the town is not being realised, according to Jo Swinson.

Jo put her views forward to VisitScotland’s Area Director, Adventure & Walking Manager and Corporate Affairs Executive at a meeting in Milngavie today. During the meeting proposals for a West Highland Way information centre in the town centre were discussed.

Earlier, Jo listened to the views of members of Bearsden Ramblers and local businessmen in Milngavie town centre on the best way to attract visitors to the start of the West Highland Way in Milngavie.

Commenting after the meeting, she said:

“The West Highland Way is one of the most popular long distance walks in the world, and hosting the start of the walk is a great asset to Milngavie. However, not enough is being done to attract visitors to it. There is a huge amount of potential waiting to be tapped, and significant benefits to be gained by businesses in the town centre and local area.

“One of the proposals is for an information centre in Milngavie town centre. This would be a very positive development as it would give walkers more reason to spend time in the town centre, visiting other shops as they did so. The centre could be opened at a relatively low cost and is something I would certainly welcome.

“The West Highland Way as a whole runs through several Local Authority areas, which creates challenges in terms of attracting tourists to the walk. An improved strategy is needed to manage and promote the walk more effectively across the different Local Authorities it covers.”

Local businessman Gilbert McVean, who runs the Iron Chef cookshop in Milngavie, said:

“The West Highland Way has been ignored for years. It’s great to see that we’re finally getting funding. I hope this is the start of continuing support for this vital town centre attraction that brings in people from all across Scotland”.

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