Falkirk’s Antonine Wall plan covers next 30 years

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A 30-year vision for the future of the Antonine Wall has been unveiled.

The ambitious plans were created in conjunction between the five local authorities which have a section of the wall in their area – Falkirk, East and West Dunbartonshire, Glasgow and North Lanarkshire – and Historic Scotland.

PIC MG 15/07/06 Antonine Wall in Seabegs Wood.'

PIC MG 15/07/06 Antonine Wall in Seabegs Wood.'

As well as ensuring the wall, which became a World Heritage Site in 2008, is well maintained and managed, the plan also looks at how it can become a world class visitor attraction and be used as a catalyst to transform communities.

One third of the wall is in the Falkirk Council area, the largest part in any local authority.

As well as the long-term aims, there are also shorter term goals for the next five years, including improving paths, signage and interpretive panels along the route.

Councillor Adrian Mahoney, Falkirk Council’s portfolio holder for culture, leisure and tourism, was cautiously welcoming of the management plan.

He said: “It is good to be looking forward to the future for the Antonine Wall as there has been lots of planning for the last couple of years, The challenge for me is where the money is going to come from to realise the aspirations. The report says the costs will be met from within existing budgets, but we’ve just heard we are going to have to make £35 million of cuts over the next three years.

“It is going to be difficult to realise some of the big aspirations unless we get some additional support and private investment.

“There is a new visitors centre at Bannockburn and it would be great to develop something like that.

“It frustrates me because I would like to see more progress coming sooner.”

Referring to the length of the plan’s vision, Councillor Craig R. Martin said: “I hope that by the time I am in my late 50s, there will have been some progress with this plan!

“I have visited the excellent facilities at Hadrian’s Wall and it’s a great day out for anyone interested in Roman history.

“I do fear that facilities like that won’t come to fruition up here – without the money it won’t happen.

“But, hopefully, if it did, it would be in our area, as some of the best sites are here.”