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£20k cash boost for Merlin study

A GRANT for £20,000 has boosted the hopes of a Dark Age Centre opening near Moffat

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By Fiona Reid

The Arthur Trail Association this week announced the funding success from Foundation Scotland.

It brings their fundraising total so far to two thirds of the estimated costs for a feasibility study into a multi-million pound centre.

And members will find out in September if they have secured the final £10,000 needed.

If so, work on the study will start immediately, later this year, with the aim of completion by next summer.

The association is proposing the creation of an ‘immersive Dark Age experience’, which will reveal the true story, of the real man behind the Merlin legend, who lived and died locally in the 6th century.

The centre would use next generation technology to bring the legend back to its historical roots and it’s hoped it would attract visitors from across the globe to the area.

Robin Crichton, chairman of the Arthur Trail Association, said: “The project is the result of ten years historical and archaeological research by the Arthur Trail Association.

“Currently the area is off the international tourism map. The traffic hurries past on the motorway without stopping. Using VisitScotland figures, a preliminary estimate indicates a potential of an extra 200,000 visitors a year to the area, which would represent an additional annual visitor spend of over £26 million per annum.”

The project has the support of both Kirkpatrick Juxta and Moffat Community Councils as well as Dumfries and Galloway Council.

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