STIRLING 'I ans a l i i ALIVINGLEGENDa a ' f a . l g. 1- ._ m As the MacRobert Centre’s Nordic Festival goes 3 ahead, we look at Stirling, c1ty at the crossroads. The Stirling Observer is celebrating allies - the castle. It is the primary one hundred and fifty years of historical attraction but, worryingly. recording the day to day events of attendance figures are falling. The the town that has been the seat of National Trust for Scotland operate monarchs and capital of Scotland. a visitors’ centre which combines with anexhibition at Stirling’s Smith better than average trinkets with an Gallery. audio-visual show. but the castle In those 150 years much has itselfis administered separately by improved. especially in the area of the ancient monuments authority. housing reform and living conditions It‘s an uneasy separation of but gradually the traditional responsibility that leads amongst employment from the mills and other things to separate entrance mines has been lost. Much ofthe fees to the visitors‘ centre and to the industry that had come to replace it castle. has also gone. According to Allan Nevertheless the castle still draws Rennie the Observer‘s Editor and hundreds of thousands of visitors to editor ofa new history of Stirling the town each year— the people since 1836. ‘practically no firm themselves are an untapped employing any number ofpeople 150 resource. Too many for the comfort years ago is left; first the mills went of Stirling's commerce visit the castle and more recently the Players on day trips to the town. Coming by factory". car or coach and failing to stay in the The closure of the John Player town or even to explore its other Billion! Rhythms Music Workshop. nanlvfunded hi 0'8"”!an Council cigarette factory a few years ago was attractions. Partly responsible for the time it was a public relations currently the headquarters of the one of those blows that so many this is Stirling’s geographical exercise aimed at making it look as if Manpowers Services Commission. British cities have had to come to structure the castle is at the ‘top of I something was happening. Conflict of interests between the terms with. Second to Strathclyde, the town‘ and isolated from the main Futureworld got off to a pretty poor Labour controlled Regional and Central Region has the worst shopping area. Much of the general ! start with a mixture of ambitious Labour controlled District Council unemployment record in the country activity to encourage tourism in non-starters such as the glass emerges in other areas too. Several and only a few months ago the Cape Stirling is focused on the specific aim covered moving walkway running up applications to build new shopping Insulation factory. until then the of ‘breathing life into the top of the 5 the castle cliffs, and suspicions from centres on the outskirts ofStirling largest remaining employer, was town'. i council employees that their ideas have been made but there is forced to close. In 1984 Stirling District Council and the credit for them would be regionally strong lobby that any new The battle is now on to restructure surprised locals and outsiders alike absorbed in the Futureworld centre should be in the Falkirk area. the local economy. At the centre of with the creation of the Disney publicity machine. Not all the attempts to revitalise the that battle is one of Stirling‘s oldest sounding ‘Futureworld‘. To many at Two years later there are still local economy are coming from criticisms of a lack of attention to tourism and retail areas. In common detail but also a feeling that with other towns that have lost Futurewold is about to make a real traditional industries. attempts are W..- .3- contribution. Alloa Breweries may being made to encourage the growth Putting a theatre into an art gallery is F: .1 have pulled out of a scheme to turn of the fledgling ‘Enterprise‘ just one of the ways in which the Smith I s. .. I“ w the old jail. The Tolbooth. next to companies. The old John Player Art Gallery and Museum's curator, . “my Futureworld's offices into a bar and Factory has become Stirling Deborah Haase, sees the building restaurant, but the building was Enterprise Park (STEP) Imperial developing as an arts centre resource successfully used over the summer Tobacco donated the site and the forthe local community. for an appropriately futuristic buildings to the nCle formed ‘When I first got the job, Icame hologram exhibition. Central Region Industry and wanting to know more about its history The success of an advertising Business Park Trust. together with and there was nowhere to go to find campaign on the London £400.000 after the factory closed in out.‘ She hopes to make the Smith Underground this summer and an 1983. The SDA gave a ‘Leg-up' grant Gallery 3037”! D'ace- expensive campaign in local media in of £350.000 together with funding Its current exhibition, Stirling In The Scotland has yet to be assessed but from industry. Stirling District News, is a graphic and imaginatively one aspect at least met with universal , and Central Regional Council. displayed account of how the local praise. A ‘topless‘ bus was hired to The initial two phases converted society was made and by whom. ' provide a free guided tour and. 18 emcee and 38 workspace units for Included exhibits from the museum's . importantly, provide an incentive to teasing to smell mostly new (inflection are a set 0' locally'used VlSIl the WhOlC iOWII. Th6 much businesses. Forty currently stocks, a ’6tls iuke-box and a wonderful talked of Erskine May tourist centre rem speee and a "further 25 workshop Beatty Bros 1930 washing machine, now seems certain to go ahead. Due units are planned in the third phase. whose tat sturdy drum set between to open in July of next year. the Largely science related is the soon spindly legs and a hand-wringer ledthe conversion of the landmark at a cost to be Opened Stirling University I "3"” the "'3‘ 9909mm“ 0' 0f mOFC than £1 milliOn in 10 8 high Innovation Park run in conjunction 3 § mass-produced washing machines. tech visitor centre is at the core of with the SDA and the Regional Anef sevefe llnaHClal difficulties and FUIUI‘CWOI'lCl‘S plans [0 bring CounciL It aims to promote research i Closure in the gallery was Stirling’s tOUI’lSt image Up [0 date alongside university department reorganised the District and a development OfShOpS on ihC activities in some ()t1 the leading 2 Regional Councils agreeing to fund it in ground level. of the university acquaculture. i pe'pemm- In recent weeks it has been computing science. and information Since it has been re'opened revealed that Th0 SCOItiSh Highland technology. Small businesses will be it has (with much voluntary support) Hotel group are interested in able to hehefit from the help of the been vigorously pursuing an developing the former High School university and its academic staff, imaginative and energetic programme, (again at thC 10p 0f the town). Stirlingi's unique Resource Centre, refurbishing exhibition space and turning it into a four star hotel. situated in Corn Exchange Reed, facilities and every two years mounts a As with so many of Futureworld‘s was one of the recommendations of a mat” display 0t contemporary Scottish , , g j ; ideas. the scheme is controversial. recently appointed Community art-the Smith Biennial Exhibition. l Deborah Hun-Morbid" Smithocllery ' ' The Regionally owned site is Advise}_ Designed to *put resources

36 The danger—ice