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Feasibility study to start for Merlin Centre

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By Christie Breen
Feasibility study to start for Merlin Centre

A GRANT for £10,000 has boosted the hopes of a Dark Age Centre opening near Moffat.

The Arthur Trail Association this week announced more funding success, this time from the Clyde Community Fund which is administered by Foundation Scotland.

This grant completes the total budget needed for a feasibility study for a multi-million pound Dark Age Centre at Beattock and Moffat.

Therefore, work on the study will start immediately, 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, yesterday said: “This is an off-the-wall approach; an immersive time travel back to a lost world. Tourism has been in steady decline for decades as traffic rushes past to the Central Belt and the Highlands. Currently only two per cent of visitors are from overseas.

“This study will examine and assess the potential of attracting visitors to discover a beautiful but unknown area currently off the international map. It will not be more of the same and our funders are to be congratulated on their vision. It is local community-based but international in outlook.”

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