Page last updated at 09:08 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 10:08 UK

Wallace Monument to get upgrade

The Wallace Monument in Stirling. Pic by Niall Chapman
The Wallace Monument in Stirling was built in the 1860s

Work to improve facilities at one of Scotland's most iconic landmarks is set to begin.

A new visitor centre, with restaurant and ticket office, is being built at the Wallace Monument, near Stirling.

The development will also feature a panoramic viewing area to see the Abbey Craig and the monument itself.

The 220ft tower, which attracts more than 125,000 visitors a year, was opened in 1869 to commemorate the life of William Wallace.

The work will be carried out at the base of the Abbey Craig, the main point of arrival for visitors to the monument.

The project is scheduled to be completed early next year, in readiness for the start of the main 2009 visitor season.

Ken Thomson, of Stirling District Tourism, said: "The expectations of visitors are continually increasing and it has been some time since there was work done to improve car parking and restaurant facilities at the site.

"It also makes sure that the first impression people have when arriving at the monument is really good."

The work is being funded by Stirling District Tourism and Scottish Enterprise, with additional support provided by Clackmannanshire and Stirling Environment Trust.

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