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Merlin Centre would boost area

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By Christie Breen
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Merlin Centre would boost area

PLANS to establish a centre detailing the legend of Merlin and its connection to upper Annandale are in motion – and it could eventually bring thousands of visitors to the area.

Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company have issued a a grant to the Arthur Trail Association which will cover half the cost of a feasibility study for a multi-million-pound Dark Age Centre at Beattock.

Merlin is a legend but behind the myth is the story of a real man who lived and died in south west Scotland in the 6th century AD. He is the key to a unique but little-known cultural heritage with his cave tucked away in the hills near Hartfell.

The association have submitted applications to secure funding from other sources, as Robin Crichton, of the Arthur Trail Association, told the Moffat News this week: “We’ve done a lot work on this project to get to this stage. It’ll certainly be a unique attraction when it comes to pass but there is still a lot of work to do before we break ground, like securing the remaining funding.

“The plan is to incorporate new technology like virtual reality to create an immersive experience which will hopefully draw 200,000 visitors to the area, create jobs and benefit the area’s economy.”

The project is the product of ten years historical and archaeological research by the the Arthur Trail Association, who recently established a Merlin Trail across Southern Scotland.

The study will recommend a development strategy, and organisational systems and structures as well evaluating appropriate strategic recommendations with research, analysis, concept designs and costs.

The Arthur Trail Association is planning for the report to be completed by autumn 2024.

Annan and Eskdale, Be, Front

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